Tomorrow the NFL draft begins. Many pro football fans look forward to this event. As a Cleveland Browns fan, I approach Draft Day with a mixture of disgust and dread. The disgust comes from the fact that, in recent years, the Browns have had high picks in the draft because they have been pathetic. The dread comes from the fact that the Browns have had a remarkable record of futility with their first-round picks and, more generally, with the players they have drafted. If you review the Browns’ first-round picks since the franchise returned to the NFL, you see that most made no significant positive impact and, indeed, most are no longer with the Browns or even in the NFL. The Browns have spent enormous amounts on their first-round picks — the sums paid to those picks are staggering — and have precisely one playoff game to show for it. The once-proud franchise of my childhood and young adulthood has been reduced to a laughingstock.
So, I’m not one of those people who is excited about Draft Day. I won’t be watching. Instead, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the latest Browns regime doesn’t do something colossally stupid that dooms the franchise to even more years of crappy football and failure.