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NFL Mock Draft 2017: Cleveland Browns Will Select O.J. Howard

Cleveland Browns Should Draft O.J. Howard

April 10, 2017

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The Cleveland Browns haven’t made the playoffs since 2002 and are coming off a season in which they won just one game. The Browns have been the laughing stock of the league for over a decade and there’s few glimmers of hope to hold onto.

One of those bright spots is that the Browns have the first and 12th picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, two quality selections that could put this franchise on the upswing if spent wisely. It’s extremely likely that Cleveland will take Myles Garrett with the first pick, which gives the Browns a game changer on the defensive side and a future All-Pro who could be one of the faces of this franchise. The 12th pick is where the Browns can double dip with quality and force the way many look at the future of this team.

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NFL Mock Draft 2017: Cleveland Browns Will Select O.J. Howard

USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns need to draft tight end O.J. Howard.

Howard is going to be one of those players who has a better pro career than college. Howard wasn’t used much in Alabama, but that had more to do with Nick Saban and company than it had it do with the player. We’re talking about an elite athlete who stands at 6’6” and runs a 4.5. Howard is long, a natural pass catcher and has shown the ability to block as well. When Howard was part of the Tide game plan, he thrived and was one of the bigger mismatches for opposing defenses. All of the tools are there for Howard to be an elite tight end and possibly even a No. 1 option in an offense in the near future.

Sure, the Browns need a quarterback, but there’s no surefire QB in this draft to waste a first round pick on when your team has so many holes. If there was, the Browns wouldn’t be spending the first overall selection on a defensive end. The Browns need to start trying to improve its team overall instead of swinging for the fences and wasting draft picks. Some of the Browns recent first round selections include Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert. A lot of those players aren’t even in the league anymore let alone Cleveland.

The Browns aren’t going to be winning for awhile, so there’s plenty of time to find a quarterback either through free agency or in later drafts. The focus right now needs to be making sound decisions and bringing in promising talent.

The selection of Garrett instantly improves the Cleveland defense and gives the team a possible Pro Bowl talent. Drafting Howard gives the Browns a tight end with an extremely high ceiling and an actual offensive weapon. After all, we’re talking about a former quarterback in Terrelle Pryor leading Cleveland in receiving yards last season. Oh, and Pryor is now playing for the Washington Redskins.

Bring in difference makers and it will lowly lead to victories. Garret is a nice first step. Howard is the cherry on top to a home run first round for the Browns.

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