By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Here are some highlights from my latest appearance on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:
When all is said and done, the decision with your first pick in the draft comes down to this: If, in your heart of hearts, you are convinced that you’re going to get a difference-maker, that he’s going make you an exponentially better team and is going to be a starter and difference-maker for years to come in the league, then you have to take that guy.
And I don’t necessarily mean a difference-maker as in someone who scores touchdowns. Joe Thomas has been a difference-maker by holding down the left tackle position for five years, by being consistent, by being reliable, by not being an issue, by locking down the left side of the line. I think Alex Mack has done that, too, at center.
So it doesn’t have to be a player at a so-called “sexy” position, but it is imperative that you get a guy who is going to play and contribute solidly for you for years to come.
I read an interesting article on Cleveland.com about the history of the top 10 picks of the draft since the Browns came back in ’99, and, boy, there have been some incredible years where most of the top 10 was a disaster – to the point where you look at it and say, “Oh, my God, I’m glad I didn’t pick there.”
You’re talking about cases of six, seven, eight, nine of the top 10 guys who haven’t really been playmakers. Instead, it’s been players selected 15-30 who have been the better long-term NFL playmakers and pros.
Now, if you have those demons in your head and you’re just not sure about any of the players available when you make that first pick, you know there are typically other teams that want to jump up and they’re paying incredibly higher prices in picks to move up, sometimes only a few spots. And if you’re able to get picks next year and get some picks later this year and still keep your first-round pick but only a few spots lower than where you started, there’s a lot of great depth at certain positions in this draft to make that move work.
I think history’s going to say that in this draft, yes, the top two quarterbacks are getting a lot of the hype at as the first two picks, but there are some other players in some other spots that I think really are going to be special for years to come.
Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and ClevelandBrowns.com
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