Corey Coleman will forever remain one of the Browns biggest mistakes

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: (L-R) Corey Coleman of Baylor holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: (L-R) Corey Coleman of Baylor holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked /

The Giants released Corey Coleman, providing proof once and for all what a mistake his selection was for the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns 2016 NFL Draft class will go down as one of the worst in franchise history. While it’s true the team found Joe Schobert in the fourth round, he’s the only player who turned out to be good from the entire class. The Browns had 14 picks that night but maybe none were as wasted than their first-round pick, No. 15 overall, wide receiver from Baylor, Corey Coleman.

Coleman was unhappy with being in Cleveland, a feeling the fans were familiar with when it came to the super-speedy but ineffective Coleman, and asked for a trade heading into 2018. The Browns agreed and sent Coleman to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

He’d be cut a month later. He’d then sign on with the New England Patriots, only to be cut two weeks later. Then he’d end up with the New York Giants, where he was just cut from on Labor Day. Coleman hasn’t really played since 2017 due to injuries, and the Giants, who only got to target him eight times during his tenure there, got tired of waiting for him to be healthy.

Coleman’s career is all but over. Maybe someone will give the 26-year-old a chance, but that seems unlikely.

What makes Coleman’s career even worse is how the Browns got absolutely nothing of value for the former first-round pick. The Browns ultimately traded him for a seventh-round pick in 2020, a pick they then traded away to the Green Bay Packers for OL Justin McCray. The Browns let McCray walk in 2020 after just a year with the team.

That’s bad enough, but looking at how the 2016 NFL Draft could’ve shaken out is so much worse. With issues on the offensive line in 2016 and currently, Ohio State’s Taylor Decker could’ve been had.  Decker went just one pick after Coleman and in 2016 the Browns knew that franchise god Joe Thomas only had so much time left as a left tackle and had a need to upgrade the line opposite of Thomas anyway. Decker would’ve been perfect.

If not Decker, you could’ve had safety Keanu Neal, center Ryan Kelly or defensive tackle Kenny Clark. Neal is one of, if not the best center in the league currently and Neal and Clark are instant upgrades over much of what you have on your roster currently.

Making those moves may have had the Browns take someone like current New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas or Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry in the second round, instead of selecting Emmanuel Ogbah.

A franchise tackle and a franchise receiver? If only former Browns GM Sashi Brown had a clue.

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