The Cleveland Browns are on the clock in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday and the revamped front office of Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta and head coach Hue Jackson tenure will also be on the clock.
While this may only be the second season for the trio, it will be the most critical after the team managed to only win one game in 2016.
Owner Jimmy Haslam pledges to be a patient man, but when the Dawg Pound barks turn to groans, the billionaire owner will be listening.
This is a franchise that has managed just 15 wins in four seasons, last year took a flyer on former franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III and it was a complete disaster.
The book is out on whether Brown is up to snuff for the gig and if the baseball minded DePodesta experiment will ultimately mesh with Jackson, an old school football coach.
Regardless all three are tied at the hip in this critical transformation for a franchise playing in the same town of the Cavaliers and Indians who both played for championships in 2016.
The city of Cleveland is beginning to feel itself and their beloved Browns have been testing their loyalty to the limits, and this might be the year they say enough is enough.
No NFL team can win or lose a regular season game or playoff birth in April, but if there is one critical moment for every NFL team it is the draft. Just ask the Dallas Cowboys where they would have been without Zak Prescott.
That’s why the Browns are seriously contemplating a draft that would allow for them to grab hometown kid Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky attended Mentor High School where he passed for 9,126 yards and 92 touchdowns and rushed for 1,559 career yards and 33 touchdowns and was named Mr. Football in Ohio.
That he went to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to play college football and not the hometown Buckeyes should raise some eyebrows as to his talent level.
Despite being ranked as the top dual-threat quarterback in the country by one recruiting service, he had to bide his time before getting on the field for the Tar Heels. Marquise Williams took the helm for four years in Chapel Hill, relegating the Mr. Ohio Football to a reserve role (82 of 125 for 1,014 yards, 11 touchdowns, five interceptions in 2014-2015). Trubisky had a breakout 2016 season, but only received third-team All-ACC honors because of the presence of the top two Heisman Trophy vote-getters (Louisville's Lamar Jackson and Clemson's Deshaun Watson).
Trubisky will immediately restore fans confidence in the franchise, but there will be a significant amount of pressure for him to succeed in his hometown. Only few professional athletes have managed to do that. Can Mitch from Mentor pull it off?
The Browns are more than likely to select Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
with the top pick and then pray that the 49ers don’t pick Trubisky with the No. 2 pick.
However, it is not the first round where the Browns front office will earn their money and turn this thing around, it will be in the later rounds where they just can’t miss on prospects that can be foundational pieces to build on. The clock is ticking…..