The 2016 Cleveland Browns Won’t Be The NFL’s Worst

Aug 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns are projected to take the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but that’s ludicrous. Here’s why, along with some other hot takes covering the Cleveland Indians, Cavaliers and even Kevin Durant to end your weekend.

1. The Browns Won’t Be The Worst In 2017. Pro Football Focus and Toddy McShay recently published some way too early mock drafts looking at the 2017 NFL Draft. The analytics site, and McShay both have the Browns taking Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson with the No. 1 overall pick.

As much we’d love to start thinking about next year’s Christmas presents 11 1/2 months in advance, we should all have a little faith in Robert Griffin III.

To believe the Browns are going to have the No. 1 pick would mean that Griffin stinks so much, that not even Rumpke would want to haul him out of FirstEngergy Stadium.

Level of play is one thing, injury concern is another. Some believe Griffin will be taking up residence at the Cleveland Clinic because it’s thought he’ll have trouble staying healthy.

Yes Griffin has been hurt a lot in his career, but the same risk exists for every quarterback. It doesn’t matter who you are, one hit can end your season. Maybe I’m just a cock-eyed optimist, but I believe Griffin can stay relatively healthy this season, and the Browns win eight or nine games.

My reasoning for feeling so bold?

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-In Hue we trust, right? Jackson can create a moving pocket for RG3. Griffin doesn’t have to be a statue behind center. Jackson is creative enough to put RG3 into positions to be successful without risking injury. However, ultimately it’ll be on Griffin to make the smart choice.

-Don’t believe the narrative on the Browns offensive line being in shambles. Yes they suffered two key losses, but they still have Joel Bitonio and Joe Thomas on the left side. On the right side, John Greco is a solid veteran. Cameron Erving will actually get to play the position he played best in college (center) and one of the Browns new rookies–I’m thinking Shonn Coleman–offers promise at right tackle.

-This team actually has some weapons returning, and I’m not even crossing my fingers that one of them will be Josh Gordon. Gary Barnidge should still be a stellar tight end, and new rookie Corey Coleman is drawing comparison to Steve Smith. Through in the The Crow and Duke Johnson, and the idea the Browns actually drafted a possession receiver (UCLA’s Jordan Payton) and this offense might actually surprise more than a few pundits and fans.

2. Francisco Lindor is arguably, already the best shortstop in baseball: It’s crazy to think about because he’s going to play the entire season as a 22-year-0ld. Fan Graphs ranked Lindor as the best defensive shortstop in 2015. This year, he’s currently fourth. His 5.3 offensive WAR trails only Boston’s Xander Bogaerts in the American League.

Carlos Correa, the man Lindor lost the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year Award to, is having a great season at the dish, but he’s really struggling at SS. His defensive WAR is -3.2. He already has five errors in 133 total chances.

3. Just keep giving me double-doubles: It’s easy to pile on Kevin Love when his shot isn’t sharp, but the man has a double-double in every playoff game this season. Every. Single. One!

4. Forget the Heat: Watching LeBron bounce Miami in four games to win the Eastern Conference title would be all kinds of fun, but realistically, there’s no way the Heat get past the Raptors. The Raptors now lead the series 2-1.

There’s a sect of Cavs’ fans with a little trepidation about playing the Heat because the Cavaliers have struggled so mightily in Miami. Kyrie Irving has never won a game in Miami’s arena during his career. It’s concerning at its surface, until you realize the Cavs have never played a postseason game in south beach.

And as we get reminded on a yearly basis, the NBA regular season means nothing when it comes to the playoffs.

I’m praying for the Heat in the conference finals, because I think the Cavs could sweep. Unfortunately, two more losses are all that’s standing between the Heat and summer vacation.

Next: An Easy Fix To LeBron's Shooting Woes?

5. Kevin Durant stays in Oklahoma City. Getting out of Cleveland sports here, but what better situation is Durant going to find this summer? The Lakers? Please. There’s been some rumors that KD wants to play in Golden State. Think Nike will let one of their biggest clients go play second-fiddle to Under Armour’s biggest star, Stephen Curry? Sneaker companies don’t always dictate where guys play…but they’ll have a say in this case.