Tonight in Chicago, sometime after 8 p.m., NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will stroll to the podium and announce that a new person has been selected to join the illustrious franchise that is the Cleveland Browns. History tells us, almost assures us, that this person will be bad. This person will be an offensive lineman without legs, a wide receiver who believes a “route tree” is that new brand of kush his dealer is selling, or a quarterback who will be swept away by the winds off Lake Erie, never to be seen again.
But we as Browns fans took a blood oath long ago that formed a binding agreement: that we will talk ourselves into whomever the Browns select with their first-round pick — hell, we'll talk ourselves into the person so hard that we'll celebrate like we won the lottery.
Sometimes it's easy to do this, but other times this can be difficult. You’ve spent the last six months combing through mock drafts, watching grainy highlight reels on YouTube and feasting on Twitter rumors, your only salvation coming when the Browns pick “your guy,” the guy that you know deep in your belly will change the franchise forever.
Fortunately, each of the prospects swirling the Browns radar, at least according to the draft experts, has notable positive attributes. Here’s an definitely not at all encompassing guide to talking yourself in to whomever Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, Hue Jackson and the gang take on Thursday night (or, hell, Friday or beyond, since they might just keep trading until they don't have a pick until 2017).
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss:
Potential for fans to yell “YOU JUST GOT TUNSILED! “ after big plays, despite not knowing what it is linemen do. Adds diversity to an offensive line whose collective interests include fishing, hunting, crossword puzzles and other things enjoyed by boring white men.
Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State:
Would fill yearly Browns quota of taking a player much too high simply because they have ties to the state of Ohio. If Charlie Frye could make grown men dress like a box of French fries, just think what Elliot could do. Would immediately allow the Cleveland Sports T-shirt Conglomerate to mass produce “Hide and Zeke” shirts (please do not steal that idea; I’m currently work-shopping it and will send you a terse e-mail). And because Cleveland is a fashion-forward (read: copying) city, just wait til Browns fans buy said T-shirt and begin wearing it as a mid-rift.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis:
I mean, have you seen him? What a dreamboat. This town hasn’t seen a wild stallion like that since Grady Sizemore formed the cult of Grady’s Ladies. You might say Kevin Love, but his penchant for nights in watching “Cowspiracy” on Netflix over and over again really take him down a peg.
Conversely, Lynch also resembles a pirate, which will make for a great media narrative when he inevitably fails.
“Do you think you’ve spent too much time pillaging and not enough time studying the playbook?” Tony Grossi will ask. And we will all nod in agreement.
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State:
The real world embodiment of that quarterback Kevin Costner wanted to take in Draft Day until he found out no one came to the guy’s birthday party. A true wild card, a guy who will either laugh while the world burns around him or be given a statue after completing 10 passes for 140 yards and no touchdowns in a loss. That, folks, is entertainment. DID YOU KNOW HE'S FROM NORTHEAST OHIO? DID YOU? Mr. Hero's next spokesman is right here, ladies and gents.
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State:
Ball-hawking skills should immediately translate into ability to catch tears of fans, which will then be stored in jars and used to generate power in Cleveland through 2070.
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA:
Would maybe possibly hopefully allow us to finally stop using Jamir Miller in articles as the only good linebacker to play for the post-1999 Browns. Let that man live out the rest of his days in peace without having PSD flashbacks involving Butch Davis. And we'll be giddy until all those pre-draft reports of shoddy knees come true and Jack plays fewer snaps than LeCharles Bentley did for the Browns.