May 9, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns first round draft picks Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) are introduced to the media with head coach Mike Pettine (left) and general Manager Ray Farmer (left) at the Cleveland Browns Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
1. First Round Was A Complete Miss In 2014
We have all heard about the reasons why the Browns drafted cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel. Those have included Manziel texting former Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, Browns head coach Mike Pettine wanting Gilbert because of his ability to use CBs in his defense, and Haslam wanting to make a splash and selecting Manziel as the team’s QB of the future would do that.
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Regardless of those and the many other reasons, it should come down to Farmer. Yes, Farmer, Pettine, and team president Alec Scheiner are all on the same level and each of them reports to Haslam, but Farmer is the GM.
That is why Farmer should take the blame for the missed draft picks (regardless of who actually made the picks) and move on. Those two picks are perfect examples as to why teams pass on players who have red flags. Between the two players, it is more understandable to accept the Gilbert pick. Gilbert could have been a top CB like Arizona’s or Cleveland’s own because of how the secondary is supposed to play in the defense.
The excitement was there for Manziel, but there were many people/teams, both in and away from the NFL who were not sold on him, including myself. Rather than selecting wide receivers , Jr., , or quarterbacks such as , , (trade up), or trading for , they selected two players that may not be on the roster next season.
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Both Gilbert’s and Manziel’s actions off the field certainly does not help their case.
Overall Farmer had his chances in 2014 and again in 2015, but he failed. Should the team decide to move on from Farmer, whoever the next general manager is must learn from Farmer’s mistakes. That person also must get no interference from Haslam for any chance of success.