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A Sign Of The Apocalypse In Cleveland?

Picture Of Mike Holmgren

One Great Season

I was afraid when I went to sleep Thursday night that I would wake up to the sounds of white horses, seven trumpets and earthquakes. And this morning, I frantically reached for a remote to search for a weather forecast in Hell. My gut told me it might be nippy down there. A feeling I had never felt before swept over me. It was foreign. It was frightening. It was ... confidence in the Cleveland Browns' front office.

Am I overreacting? A little dramatic? No.

Courtney Brown. William Green. Jeff Faine. Brady Quinn. The first round of the NFL Draft has been a comedy of errors in Cleveland. Except in 2008, when they didn't pick until the fourth round.

So you can understand this long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan's lack of optimism when I tuned in to watch Chris Berman act like an unintelligible 1950s cartoon character on draft night. But, alas, President Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert showed their shrewdness by ridding themselves of the No. 6 draft pick, and stocking up on extra selections this year and the next. There were four great players in this draft — I believe Cam Newton will be a flop — and they were already off the board by the time the Browns went on the clock. So, why keep a pricy top-10 pick when your needs are many? The Browns aren't one player away from success. Heck, they're not even one season away from the playoffs. It appears the front office decided to try the Bill Belichick method of seeking good value in the middle rounds. It's worked once or twice for him.

The Browns do need a receiver, and Julio Jones is a good one, but he has Braylon Edwardsesque hands. That is not a compliment. Yes, there is a chance there will be no draft choices to be had in 2012. If anyone believes the draft will no longer exist past this year, I have some WMDs to show you in Baghdad.

This wasn't some ingenious move. Most draft experts believed it should have happened. But, the Browns made it, and it was the right move. Read that last sentence again and try not to act astonished. This is uncharted territory. That's why I'm still waiting for the sun to turn black and the moon red ... or Tim Couch to ride in on a green horse.

Ben Jackey is an Emmy Award-winning former television reporter. Click here for his bio and an archive of his previous OGS stories.

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