The Browns had a disastrous 2016. Most of their draft picks didn’t make an impact and the players they let go contributed to their teams in a huge way. The way to go forward though is to learn from mistakes and put together a solid plan that will turn this team around. To do this the Browns need to build through the draft which all successful teams do. This means that they not only hit on their high draft picks but also accumulate and use late round picks on good players. When teams find steals in the later rounds they have a huge advantage over other teams. Building through the draft also means the Browns must resign their good players when they become free agents. Benjamin, Sheard, Mack, and Schwartz should all still be on the roster. Cleveland could have drafted other players than Corey Coleman, Nate Orchard, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Shon Coleman and Cam Erving had they kept those players. Cleveland can’t keep drafting and replacing the same types of players every 4 years because the good teams don’t do that.
Step 1: Have a solid draft- Cleveland needs at least 3 or 4 starters from this draft. Number 1 pick should be Myles Garrett. He will help the defense a ton. Don’t spent a lot of time debating the first pick because Garrett should be the pick. Instead spend a lot of time finding talent in the later rounds. Upgrade positions of need such as o line, secondary, pass rush, and QB.
Step 2: Replace the people who should be replaced: This means keeping the Macks, and Schwartzs. The Browns need to get rid of or upgrade the following players: Cam Erving, Alvin Bailey, Austin Pasztor, Randall Telfer, Danny Vitale, Joe Schobert, Cam Johnson, Tracy Howard, Tramon Williams, Stephen Paea, and Xavier Cooper(There are other players that I am probably forgetting). These are the players who either don’t do enough or continue to make stupid plays. These players are backups at best and should not be seeing meaningful game time. I understand some of these players will be kept but only as backups I hope. They simply make bad plays that cost the team.
Step 3: Upgrade Special Teams: The Browns lose a game or two every year because of bad special teams. Last 2 years it was playing the Ravens at home where special teams cost them with missed kicks. Also in 2016 the Browns lost to the Dolphins by missing 3 field goals and the game ended up going into overtime where the Browns ending up losing. More resources need to be spent in this critical area of the game.
Step 4: Sign some free agents: The Browns have plenty of cap room. Upgrade some of the above players through free agency. They don’t necessarily have to be big name or big pay guys just make sure they upgrade the team. I think Pryor and Collins showed that they are worth bringing back. Step 5: Figure out the QB situation: If the Browns draft a QB they likely won’t be ready. Therefore it’s important who will be the starter next year so we can build around them. The Browns aren’t going anywhere next year so it doesn’t matter who starts right away it just matters what the long term plan is. This way everything else can be figured out and they don't spend another offseason debating who the QB should be.