Networks realize draft drama without frills sometimes best

Workers continue preparing the NFL Draft Theatre for the 2021 NFL Draft, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Cleveland. After going all virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-day draft, which has grown into one of America's biggest, non-game sporting events, returns with thousands of fans who will be separated by their loyalties, and whether they've been vaccinated.

Forgive me for being so confused. I feel like a cartoon character who was bopped on the head and is seeing a circle of stars in front of my eyes.

Heading into this week’s NFL Draft, I did not have to talk or think about looking for a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In fact, the Browns extended the rookie contract of Baker Mayfield by picking up his fifth-year option.

Not looking for a quarterback in the NFL Draft for a Browns fan is an unusual place to be. I have been walking around like a zombie, asking crazy questions like:

• How will the Browns fill out interior defensive linemen and linebackers needs?

• Could they really use another wide receiver?

• Will defensive backs Greedy Williams, Denzel Ward and Grant Delpit be healthy this season?

Maybe it is not confusion. Perhaps it is just being in uncharted waters. Owning the 26th pick in the first round is odd.

The Browns have not gone into a draft with this late of a first-round selection since Jimmy Carter was president when USC running back Charles White was picked 27th in the 1980 draft.

They have only picked later three other times. Before coach Bill Belichick won Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, he fumbled away the 10th pick in the 1995 draft with the Browns by selecting Ohio State linebacker Craig Powell at No. 30. This after trading the pick to the San Francisco 49ers.

In 1994, Michigan wideout Derrick Alexander was selected 29th. But, the Browns took Antonio Langham with the ninth pick that season.

Browns tight end David Njoku was picked 29th in 2017, but that was after Miles Garrett was selected No. 1 overall, and Jabrill Peppers was picked 25th out of 32 teams.

The Browns did not have a first-round pick in 2008 or 2019.

For the first time in 41 years, this is how successful NFL franchises look at the NFL Draft. I like the way this feels. Fixing issues with Band-Aids, not major surgery.

In past years, the NFL Draft has been Cleveland’s Super Bowl. The only hope to fix a one- or no-win regular season.

Now, this is different. The draft is being held in Cleveland and the meaning has changed. The Browns are coming off a winning season. They have a head coach who does not have to look over his shoulder. But, most importantly for at least one draft, the Browns do not have to worry about getting a quarterback.

Welcome home Mr. Rose

Covering this weekend’s NFL Draft is Shaker Heights native Chris Rose. He is one of the many talented folks from the NFL Network locked in to keep you up-to-date on the latest from the lakefront during the draft.

If you have not seen his NFL Network highlight show on Sunday nights during the regular season, you are missing out. It is without question the most informative and entertaining wrap on the day in football. Chris’ quick wit and humor make it the show to watch.

Rose has had a challenging year. His role on “Intentional Talk” with Kevin Millar ended due to budget cuts from MLB Network. It should come as no surprise the University School graduate bounced back in just a few weeks. He is now hosting a podcast, “The Chris Rose Rotation.”

The podcast features Rose with a rotating co-host of six active MLB players. Twice a week, Chris sits down with MLB players Trevor May, Steven Brault, Miguel Rojas, Tyler Glasnow, Lucas Giolito and Archie Bradley. The stories Chris and the players tell break new ground and are cutting edge.

Chris also hosts the popular “Battlebots” show. The show features homemade robots fighting in a single elimination tournament on the Discovery Channel.

Hopefully, he gets a chance to spend time with his Cleveland family this weekend.


If you have a suggestion for a column idea for Andy Baskin, send him an email at columnists@cjn.org. He can be heard on “Baskin & Phelps weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 92.3 The Fan.

Disclaimer

Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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