NFL 

Thank you, Cleveland

Thank you, Cleveland for not overthinking the first overall pick.

Thank you, Cleveland for drafting the best prospect in the 2017 draft class.

Thank you, Cleveland for making sound and quality selections in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Cleveland is coming off an abysmal 1-15 season. The franchise has not been good in the nearly two decades since returning to the NFL in 1999. The team is constantly in rebuild mode, but Thursday night was a step in the right direction.

The first overall pick of the 2017 draft was used on the consensus best prospect in Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett. Cleveland toyed with the idea of drafting North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, but ultimately made the right decision in drafting Garrett.

The former Aggie will help the defense, a lot, especially with his ability to get after the opposing team’s quarterbacks. He is highly athletic and has elite pass-rushing skills. His skillset alongside of Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah on the defensive line will give Cleveland stability when rushing the passer and stopping the run.

Add that to the likes of Jamie Collins, Chris Kirksey and Joe Haden and the Browns defense is starting to shape up, especially with Gregg Williams as the coordinator.

The Browns held the 12th overall pick, a spot where many believed they would draft either Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson or Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. Instead, the Browns swapped picks with the Houston Texans (who drafted Watson) and moved 13 spots down to No. 25.

With the 25th overall pick, Cleveland took Michigan safety/utility man, Jabrill Peppers. This is a very versatile player for the Browns, who can play Peppers at a corner/safety hybrid position, use him in the return game where he flourished at Michigan or even potentially use him on offense. Peppers will be able to fill a lot of holes for the Browns and affect the game in a multitude of ways. He can be a game-changer in the return game or play a vital role on a defense that appears to only be getting better.

Cleveland was not done in the first round, as they traded back in. The Browns traded the 33rd pick (1st overall in the second round) and a fourth round pick (108 overall) to the Green Bay Packers. Upon securing the 29th overall pick, Cleveland drafted Miami tight end David Njoku. This is yet another quality pick for the orange and brown.

Njoku is an athletic tight end that can help Cleveland stretch the field, if and when they finally find a quarterback. Njoku will be a huge threat in the red zone, where he excelled as a Hurricane. Of his nine collegiate touchdowns, eight came inside the 20-yard line.

Cleveland is in a good position moving forward with the plethora of draft picks they have at their disposal. They can use those picks to potentially find a quarterback later in the draft or use a package of picks from this year and next to trade for a quarterback who can finally be “the one.” Overall, this was a great opening round for the Cleveland Browns, a team that desperately needed things to start looking in the right direction. Three picks in the first round is not something that is seen from year to year, but the Browns knocked it out of the park with the three selections they made Thursday night.

Thank you, Cleveland for giving fans hope and taking the best available players in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

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