Not drafting a lineman higher
The 2019 NFL draft will go down as a whopping disappointment for so many reasons, many of which will be talked about later. The Browns may have wasted their first-round pick in a trade, but that doesn’t justify their draft strategy. Despite having a full accompaniment of linebackers, with all three starters entrenched, the Browns opted to draft Mack Wilson in the 5th round and Sione Takitaki in the 3rd.
The Browns wouldn’t take a lineman, their biggest position of need, until the 6th round with tackle-turned-guard Drew Forbes. Forbes spent a good chunk of the year on the injured reserved, before being moved inside to be Joel Bitonio’s backup. This after drafting Greedy Williams at corner in the 2nd round, and kicker Austin Seibert in the 5th.
Now some of these positions may have needed depth and maybe some of these players were simply too good to pass up. That said, the Browns knew that Greg Robinson wasn’t the answer at left tackle. They ran with him anyway because they didn’t have any better options in 2018. They knowingly went into the draft and bypassed improving the tackle position despite the fact that Robinson has busted out of two previous stops in the NFL.
Forbes could turn into something wonderful, who knows? He simply wasn’t healthy enough to play. With how bad Robinson was, you’d at least think the Browns would have tried him out at left tackle. Silly us for thinking they’d do something that would make sense. That said, not prioritizing the biggest position of need wasn’t help smart. The secondary needed help, that’s entirely true, but they didn’t need to go and select three defensive backs and two linebackers.
The obvious two positions that need to be addressed this year, be it in free agency or the draft, is tight end and tackle. Let’s hope the new front office doesn’t pooch this draft too.