CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Where did the Browns go wrong? Well, how far back do you want to go? We could go back four years, to the 2011 Draft, when the Browns
traded way down rather than draft wide receiver Julio Jones (who's having a spectacular career), ended up with Phil Taylor late in Round One, who's no longer with the team, and also landed...wait for it...Greg Little, Owen Marecic and eventually Brandon Weeden from that deal with the Falcons, and of course, none of those players panned out.
But in fairness to this regime, we'll just cover the past two years. In 2014, they had Sammy Watkins, another phenomenal receiver right there at #4, but instead traded the pick to the Bills, eventually landed at #8, and took Justin Gilbert, who of course isn't working out. Ok, maybe they didn't want to deal with Sammy's pot issues. They already had that challenge with Josh Gordon. But, with Gordon looking at a suspension, the Browns still failed to find a receiver in that draft. They then traded up from 26 to 22 in Round One to take Johnny Manziel, rather than stay put and take either Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr, two guys who certainly look like the real deals. But okay, they took Johnny, and unlike the Vikings and Raiders, with Bridgewater and Carr, and unlike the Bucs and Titans, with Winston and Mariota this year, the Browns not only didn't plug their rookie quarterback right in, to get the process rolling, they refuse to tailor their offense to his skill set. But wait, there's more. We're still in 2014 here. The Browns also traded up in Round 3, to take running back Terrance West, a guy who not only is no longer with the team, but yields 'em nothing in return, as he failed to get enough reps with the Titans to deliver that conditional draft pick that was part of the trade. And of course, West is now with the Ravens. By the way, the running back drafted nine spots after Terrance West? Davonta Freeman, who's on pace for 1,000 yards with the Falcons, playing for a coordinator who couldn't get out of our town fast enough, Kyle Shanahan.
Now here we are in 2015, waiting for this year's first-rounders to make an impact. The Browns took Danny Shelton at #12, and he's a role player, and Cam Erving at 19, and while Erving will finally jump into the starting lineup this week to replace Joel Bitonio, he admitted that left guard is the position where he's taken the least amount of reps. Oh good!
And as for the desperate need for a receiver? Well, there were six of 'em taken in Round One this year, but the Browns wanted no part of that. They waited until Round Four, when they finally drafted Vince Mayle, who, of course, they cut. But hey, there's always Dwayne Bowe, and his guaranteed $9 million. He has three catches on the season.