Windy City Gridiron - The Cleveland Browns had the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and they took defensive end Myles Garrett, when they could have had their pick of quarterbacks.
Now that you've had the chance to see most of the season play out, are you happy they grabbed Garrett and waited to get quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second round?
Dawgs By Nature - I think 32 teams would have drafted Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall, so I told myself at the time of the selection that I would never look back at the pick with regret. Although a couple of injuries have hampered him as a rookie, he's shown the pass-rushing skills we expected from him. He hasn't been able to make the game-changing plays per se, but no one looks at him and thinks "bust." The question about being happy about Garrett "and" DeShone Kizer [in the second round] can't be linked, though.
I had delusions at the time that because Cleveland invested so heavily in their offensive line, they could squeak out a couple of wins with a young quarterback, whether that be Kizer or second-year man Cody Kessler, much like the Bears have done. Hue Jackson has handled the entire situation terribly, though, which I'll get to in one of your other questions.
WCG - It really seems like wide out Josh Gordon has turned his life around. Is he in Cleveland's future plans or will they be looking to move him this offseason?
DBN - Browns fans have waited pretty long for Josh Gordon to be playing regular season NFL games again. Some thought it might never happen, and I thought if it did that the team might give up on him. But with head coach Hue Jackson being vocal about the lack of offensive weapons he's had to work with, and then immediately making Gordon the No. 1 receiver upon his return, I have to imagine he's back in Cleveland's future plans. The Browns actually control the rights to him for another two years (ERFA and then a RFA) because of how few acrued seasons he's had due to his suspensions. He's way to valuable of a commodity to ship away.
Even if he slips up again and gets another ban from the NFL, keeping him (without getting compensation from another team) is more worth it to me.
WCG - Most fans can't fathom keeping a head coach that has only won one game in nearly two years. Are the Browns really going to keep Hue Jackson?
DBN - It looks like they're keeping Hue Jackson -- he won the battle between himself and former Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown. At the beginning of the year, I thought that everyone would definitely return for a third season in 2018. The only exception would be if the Browns had such a disastrous season again, but what were the odds of that? I mean, most years, even the bad teams get 4-5 wins. And yet here we sit, winless heading into a Christmas Eve game for the second year in a row.
Jackson has made a lot of bad game management and personnel decisions, but I think he got into our owners ear by preaching that he's never had a reliable quarterback to work with. That's why this coming offseason, I think the Browns are going to be top dollar for a free agent quarterback and draft a quarterback with one of their two top-5 picks.
WCG - The Browns have allowed a league low 3.3 yards per rush and are a respectable 17th in yards allowed. Who are some of Cleveland's play-makers on defense that the Bears need to be wary of?
DBN - It'll probably be names on the defensive line who you really won't hear about on the telecast, but they've been doing their jobs well all season in plugging the gaps or creating penetration to disrupt the direction a run was heading. The top two names that come to mind are Danny Shelton and Larry Ogunjobi. Shelton has transitioned better-than-expected to the 4-3 defense this year, and Ogunjobi, a rookie, is the guy who will shove your offensive guards three yards back at the snap of the ball on a handful of plays per week.
WCG - Prediction time! Will the Browns get their first win of the year in Chicago on Sunday?
DBN - I'm sorry to tell you, but the Bears are doomed. Hue Jackson can only win on Christmas Eve (that is when his one victory came in 2016). Now we're at the point where I'm thinking silly things like, "actually, letting the Bears win could help improve the first-round pick we own from the Texans)." I'm picking the Browns to win, but I would not put a single dime on them in Vegas, so this is a fandom pick here.
Thanks to Chris for the insight, I’m sure we’ll see him and the Browns again in the Preseason Buster Bowl next year!