Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thoughts on the Browns draft

Tonight is the night that Browns fans probably most look forward to - the NFL draft.  It's like Christmas... If you got really lousy presents in the past.

As expressed in my book - I'm a Browns fan for reasons that have nothing to do with the 1999 and beyond version of the team.  I generally don't get frustrated with them - I take a stoic approach to them.  If they start losing in September (they usually do) I focus my efforts on yard work, fall festivals, etc.

Still - I approach the draft with some excitement, for two reasons:

1) I get to predict what they will do (I'm rarely correct...) and
2) With their lousy record from the year before I get to see if my prediction was correct relatively quickly.

This year's prediction:

I'm going with Ezekiel Elliott if he's there, trade down if he's not.

From a numbers point of view it just makes too much sense.  If you can run the ball, you take time off the clock.  When you take time off the clock, that keeps your opponent's offense on the bench.  Did you know that - in the entire history of the NFL - no team's offense has ever scored from the bench?

The Bengals, with an average running game, ran the ball 90 times more than the Browns last year.  If the Browns did that it would translate to 36 fewer incomplete passes (you can either run or pass - the Browns completed 60% of their passes), which is 36 fewer clock stops.  At 30-40 seconds per stop, that's 20 minutes - over one minute per game - of defensive help.

Put a player like Elliott in there and you become well above average, and probably shorten the game by 2 minutes.  Given what an NFL team can do with 2 minutes - that's huge.

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