The Cleveland Browns are now officially on the clock.
For the first time since 2000, the Cleveland Browns have the first overall pick in the NFL draft. This comes after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 in overtime. 1-15 is their final record for the 2016 season, their worst record since the franchise’s return in 1999.
Robert Griffin was once again average in what could be his final start for the franchise.
He started off strong with two touchdown passes to tight ends Seth DeValve and Gary Barnidge. Could’ve had a third but threw it right into Steelers’ linebacker Ryan Shazier’s direction for an interception.
In the second half, his pocket awareness was at a 0 and once again he couldn’t seem to get the ball out quickly and was sacked four times.
It’s unknown whether or not he’ll return next season. If the Browns elect to draft a quarterback in the draft, maybe bringing back Griffin along with having Cody Kessler here would be good so that the potential rookie can sit and learn.
Griffin’s future will be determined quickly because he’s due a $750,000 roster bonus due when the league year starts in March.
One player who should be back is running back Isaiah Crowell. Crowell had a career high 152 yards on 19 carries and brought his season total to a career high 952 yards. The Browns should look to him as the feature back of the offense for the immediate future.
Terrelle Pryor also hit a milestone against Pittsburgh as he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in receiving for the first time in his career. Pryor finished the game with 94 yards on seven catches.
Pryor will be a free agent and with 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns, he’ll be sought after by teams looking for wide receivers in free agency.
Gary Barnidge and first round pick Corey Coleman both finished with five catches and 40 yards each.
Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins led the way defensively with 12 and 10 tackles individually. Kirksey added a sack and three tackles for a loss as well.
DeMario Davis, Carl Nassib and Ed Reynolds also added a sack, giving the team four on the day.
The blunder of the day went to cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. The undrafted rookie picked off Landry Jones in the third quarter and it looked like he took it back 68 yards for a touchdown.
Until he fumbled the ball going into the end zone and it resulted in a touchback for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh then capitalized with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 21-14 lead.
George Atkinson, who’s seen the majority of playing time on special teams got some carries with Duke Johnson injured. He made the most of it with 32 yards on seven carries including the tying touchdown with 3:28 left in regulation.
The Browns got the ball first in overtime and burned 7:43 of the clock before Parkey hit a 34 yard field goal.
The Steelers moved down the field on a 9 play, 75 yard drive, winning the game on a 26 yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton.
After the game, Hue Jackson told reporters this interesting quote, especially after the rumors this morning.
“There is a plan, but we have to work it and do it right, and make sure we get to where we need to be, because I don’t wanna feel like this anymore.”
I might be reading into it too much but with the reports this morning about the team wanting to add a “football guy” more specifically the coaching staff wanting to.
I think Hue might be sending a message to Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta and Andrew Berry to start evaluating talent better or change might be coming to the Browns.