The Mystery Behind Center

With the release of Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown, the Browns have a wide open array of options at quarterback. There are literally seven different possibilities at quarterback right now, and one of them will likely be THE possibility. As of right now, the Browns have Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler, and Kevin Hogan at quarterback. Could any of these three men be ‘the guy’ coming into the 2017 season? Of course! Even Osweiler, who is reportedly being shopped along with a fifth round pick for a third round pick. Moneyball at it’s finest.

If the Browns can’t get anything out of Osweiler, will they release him? I wouldn’t do it. Look, as of right now, the Bears (Glennon), Saints (Brees), Cardinals (Palmer), 49ers (Hoyer), Jets (Fitzpatrick, perhaps Cutler), Bills (Taylor), Jaguars (Bortles), Chiefs (Smith), and Broncos (Siemien, Lynch), may all be in need of a quarterback. I know I have a few teams on this list you may glance at and think I’m beyond my sanity. However, in the case of the Saints, Cardinals, and Chiefs, we have three aging quarterbacks. You can also throw the Chargers in there as well. Blake Bortles and Tyrod Taylor have shown flashes of both brilliance and bust, and neither have solidified their status just yet. The Bears signed Mike Glennon to franchise quarterback money, but he may be the 2017 version of 2016 Osweiler. The 49ers and Jets both have serious issues at quarterback. And lastly, is it possible the Broncos may rekindle with Brock Osweiler? Hey, they tried to resign him before he bolted to Houston for a year. I can see John Elway doing that. I mean, he trusted Osweiler in 2015 enough to keep him in as the starter in favor of Peyton Manning for a longer time than many would have anticipated.

What I’m saying is that any given time during the NFL season before the trade deadline, someone is going to inquire about Brock Osweiler. So many label the guy a free agent bust, and rightfully so, but he still went 8-6 as the starter last season. In other words, he can win you games. He won in Denver, and he won in Houston. So why is he a bust? He didn’t live up to his massive contract, but he can win, especially if the team has a strong running game and defense. Houston had a strong running game and defense. Oh, and he won a playoff game. The guy isn’t that bad, especially when said player was playing against a defense that contained Khalil Mack, one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

Is it possible Osweiler opens the 2017 season as the Browns starter? Honestly, he wouldn’t be any more of a trainwreck than Robert Griffin III was in 2016. Would he produce? The Browns have two good running backs in Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. They also have a fair fullback in Dan Vitale at the moment. Sure, Terrelle Pryor bolted for Washington, which probably won’t work out for him, but Kenny Britt is a good consolation for Pryor. Look at the numbers of both receivers and look at the quarterbacks who were throwing to them. I’m not saying I like Osweiler, because I’m not his biggest fan, but I am saying that if built around, as he was in Denver, he may very well be a fair quarterback in the mold of Alex Smith. Brock Osweiler is going to be on an NFL roster in 2017.

Cody Kessler is reportedly going to be given an opportunity to start in 2017. Kessler started eight games in 2016, winning none of them. However, he was knocked out of three of those games playing behind a terrible patchwork offensive line that lacked their starting guards, a right tackle who was playing center, and a never ending cycle of horrendous right tackles. If the 2017 season started tomorrow, the opening day starters on Cleveland’s offensive line would look like this: Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler, Cam Erving. Note one of the better guards in the league, John Greco, is also on the roster but may or may not be ready for week one. Behind this line, Cody Kessler isn’t pulling off his best impression of Tim Couch. In fact, he’ll probably look more like Brian Sipe. Give Kessler a good offensive line that may now be one of the best in the AFC, he’s going to produce well. He produced well in 2016 when healthy. He was really 0-5, after being knocked out of three of the games he started. He also should’ve beaten Miami, since kicker Cody Parkey missed the potential game winning field goal in week three. At worst, Kessler opens as the primary back-up. His job in Cleveland is safe.

One of my favorite quarterbacks in college football two years ago was a kid named Kevin Hogan, who I probably would’ve drafted in favor of Kessler. I’ll give it to the Cleveland front office, they got it right when they drafted Kessler, as Hogan looked overmatched in game action. Does he open the season as the starter? Only if he has a terrific training camp, if he makes it that far.

Jimmy Garoppolo is reportedly not being traded. I don’t believe Bill Belichick for a single second, and neither should you. Why would he want to trade the guy at this point? Say you won’t trade him now and see what you can get for him. If the price isn’t high enough, keep him for later. Belichick is throwing a smokescreen, of course he’s going to shop Garoppolo! Look, if anyone has any common sense these days, especially in an NFL front office, you throw smokescreens in order to increase the cost for a player of interest. Cleveland isn’t the only team looking for Garoppolo’s services. Minus the Jets and Bills, being divisional rivals, every single team I listed would be interested in Garoppolo. Include the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Redskins (can someone say blockbuster three team trade involving Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins?) in this discussion. Pittsburgh? Really? What if Ben goes down or retires after the season? Who succeeds him? Landry Jones? Bill Belichick is exploring his options while at the same time, increasing the price for Garoppolo. If you’re naive enough to believe the media, go right ahead. If you’re sharp enough to think outside the box, welcome to the one-percent. Does Garoppolo come to Cleveland? You bet he does. The Browns didn’t ‘buy’ a second round pick for nothing while leaving Osweiler expendable. Don’t believe for a single second that Jimmy Garoppolo is off the market.

DeShaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, and DeShone Kizer are all possibilities to be drafted at number one or number twelve. The consensus is Cleveland takes edge rusher Myles Garrett at number one, and I believe they will. Yet, if they’re throwing the smokescreen, does a rookie start week one? Don’t count on it, since none of these guys are going to start week one and succeed. Who do I like best out of this bunch? Trubisky. I believe he’d be the number one pick in this draft had he started more college football games. Watson and Trubisky are going to be good, but don’t expect either one of them to be the second coming of Dak Prescott, or even Andrew Luck for that matter. Not going to happen. However, maybe they take one at number twelve if they can’t get Garoppolo. Newsflash, they’re going to sell the farm for Jimmy Garoppolo. New England just traded their first round pick for Brandin Cooks. They love to trade more than any other team. Hashtag foreshadow.

What do I think will happen? It’ll be Garoppolo. The guy is simply too good to ride the bench behind Tom Brady. New England is holding out for the ideal trade. Don’t believe for a second they’re going to keep Garoppolo sitting behind Tom Brady for a fourth consecutive season. Bill Belichick loves to wheel and deal with the best of them, and he’ll continue to do that. No one does it better than Belichick. Sorry, Pittsburgh fans, but as long as Belichick is in New England, the Patriots rule the AFC. Sorry Baltimore fans, sorry Houston fans, sorry Kansas City fans, your time won’t come until both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have hung it up for good. And sorry Cleveland fans, we may get Garoppolo, but we’re going to get stripped of every little piece of talent Bill Belichick can suck out of us. It’s going to happen. The trade is going to happen, and we’re going to give up a lot for a talented, yet unproven back-up quarterback. That’s just the way Bill Belichick works. Once again, the New England Patriots rule the AFC. It’s just an inconvenient truth.

Once, I Had an Ability

I know, I can’t stop talking about Once. The work is definitely as close to a child as I ever had and the characters speak volumes to me since almost every single one of them are based off real people. In other words, they were inspired by friends (and enemies) of mine. Each character in Once possesses a piece of the soul to the individual, (or individuals) from which they are based.

I wanted to make this manuscript, and hopefully in the very near future, book, as interesting and unique as possible. Many of you who follow my site already know a bit about the background of Once. We know the influences are from Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven, the American Revolution, 20th Century Conflict, 21st Century Conflict, Lost, The Last Airbender, and Symphonic Power Metal. With that being said, let’s break down these influences even further. For those of you reading or following this, I want to be vague in terms of plot but I also want to be clear on the genre and where exactly this epic, fantastical tale is coming from.

Yes, there is going to be some magic involved, as well as fictional sports, which brings out the work’s inner Harry Potter. In fact, there will be many close knit groups here that will give it even more of a Harry Potter feel. The Harry Potter Series is always and forever an influence not only in my works, but in my life. The quotes, wisdom, and themes are something I will always bring into real life, until the very end.

Star Wars isn’t necessarily my forte, but I’m a fair weathered fan of the series. My brother is the Star Wars expert and I’m the Harry Potter expert. Sure, I haven’t seen the two most recent Star Wars flicks and I don’t plan on doing so any time soon, though I’ll eventually come across them. However, some plot elements of both the sequel and prequel trilogies leak into the work. For instance, George Lucas was influenced by The Hero With A Thousand Faces for Star Wars, and the work also helped shape my own series, as seen in my earlier post.

The Magnificent Seven really corresponds well to my very own band of heroes. I first saw The Magnificent Seven back in 1997, thirty-seven years after the original film’s release. The impact was there from the start, and in all honesty, perhaps the roots of Once really did begin back in 1997, twenty years ago, when I was only six years old.

The American Revolution, 20th, and 21st Century Conflict are elements I’ve combined into Once. As I’ve been talking about in previous posts, I really want to stress the importance of these influences, because they may be the most important ones out here. We can link the American Revolution to world events going on today. We know the winning side always tells history, but we must be wise enough to remember there are always two sides to one story. The losing side, or the oppressed side, is typically ignored by all with the exception of those who are fortunate enough to live to tell the tale. This is especially important in regards to conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries. Always remember each tale is comprised of two parts, because two sides always make up one story. No matter the story, no matter the event, no matter the occurrence, there are always two sides to one.

The TV Series Lost was one of the more mysterious shows out there, if not in contention to most mysterious. Lost was one confusing roller coaster, with twists and turns until the very end. The mythology of Lost was also a staggering concept that had America talking about the show until it’s very last episode. I want people to talk about the mysteries behind Once, because, and this is a major spoiler alert, there are going to be a lot of guesses and second guesses. Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt, and not everything is what it looks like. I love incorporating shock value, and shock value runs rampant in Once. I want that reader guessing all the way until the very last page.

I had to put more fantasy into the work, and The Last Airbender gave me that fantasy. Element control is something I’ve always found fascinating, so I decided to add my own twists and turns to it. Sure, I took some concepts from the hit Nickelodeon Series, but I made it my own. I originated it, and did so effectively. There are differences, major differences, in element control in Once. I had to distinguish it and make it my own.

And finally, I always needed my symphonic metal, as well as other identical genres, such as what many may simply call epic music. If I had to name my favorite influences in both bands and songs, I constructed a list, which if listened to, in order, may give the reader insight on just what kind of work Once really is.

A Prophecy of Worlds to Fall, Xandria

Angus McFife, GloryHammer

She is my Sin, Nightwish

Starfire, DragonForce

Bullet the Blue Sky, U2

Generation Me, Delain

The Kinslayer, Nightwish

Ramblin’ Man from Gramblin’, Sam Spence

The Equalizer, Sam Spence

Heroes of our Time, DragonForce

Two for Tragedy, Nightwish

Center of the Universe, Kamelot

Classic Battle, Sam Spence

Stairway to the Skies, Within Temptation

Betrayer, Xandria

A Chilling Championship, Sam Spence

Street of Dreams, Blackmore’s Night

Prepare for War, DragonForce

Warrior of Ice, Rhaposdy of Fire

Memories of Time, Dreamtale

Ever Dream, Nightwish

Beauty of the Beast, Nightwish

To Glory, Two Steps from Hell

 

No real spoiler alerts here, just good old, fashioned music.

 

 

 

 

 

Once and the Real World

Something I really need to get off my chest is the sheer comparison of Once and the world we live in today. I know many of you viewed my post yesterday entitled “Outcry of Lost Souls.” What I did when I wrote the post was take a voyage all the way back to the year 2010, when my interest and curiosity of the world’s problems finally overtook me. I had to dig deep and revert back to my nineteen year old self and get into that mindset.

Sure, much has changed since I was nineteen. For instance, my political views at the time leaned towards modern-day liberalism and today I’m very, very libertarian, so yesterday’s post reflected that view of my political perspectives I possess today. Back when I was nineteen, I was a history major, minoring in political science, and this was virtually my way of dissecting the past. Sure, my love of fitness and the gym would overtake that, mainly because it’s nearly impossible to end up with a decent paying job with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and graduate school is most definitely a must. So here I am, seven years later, with a Bachelor of Science in Wellness and Fitness, a program from California University of Pennsylvania which I highly recommend to all looking to break into the world of fitness.

I literally had zero idea of where the book was headed at the time, and after writing several initial drafts and erasing every single page at least a half dozen times, I finally created and developed characters to my liking. Spoiler alert: the only character to remain unchanged is Lira Ross, though her backstory changed substantially, and if I’m ever as famous as J.K. Rowling or Robert Jordan I’ll be more than happy to share my initial character outlines. In fact, even as recently as March, 2015, I still lacked direction for the work. It wasn’t until I was halfway through writing Comeback Kid during the 2016 Spring Semester did I finally unearth a plot that I could stick with. Spoiler alert: the plot outline was right in front of me for over eleven years. Yes, I love being vague.

As mentioned previously and implied yesterday for you code breakers, I wanted to give you all a quick rundown on some real world themes of Once. Many of these themes and issues are seen every single day of our lives. While Conservative America and Liberal America engage in an endless debate on how to provide effective solutions to these problems, myself and plenty more experienced and budding authors have already provided them. Put it this way, when someone asks me a fitness related question and I provide an answer, they will embark my answer to fit their goals. When they ask me how I knew a particular variable was so effective as it pertained to their goals, I simply reply that “I read a few books in my life.” I love politicians, because the answers are typically right in front of them, but something tells me only the father-son duo of Ron and Rand Paul have ever taken time out of their busy lives to actually read the bills that are potentially being passed into laws.

What kind of problems do we face both at home and abroad, that I’m trying to get off my chest in Once? Let us begin!

  1. I’m going to begin with a little bit of fun here, because Once is actually an allegory that stands for something else. While much of the series is rather serious with dark meanings and themes attached to it, there is a certain something in the world of sports I would love to see happen. One of my beta-readers actually saw through this relatively quickly and I admitted the truth! All in all, if you love sports, you may just want to pick up the book and read, because there is much, much more than harsh realities that must be dealt with.
  2. It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. These are famous words, made into a book title by Judge Andrew Napolitano. Great libertarian, great judge, greater writer, great visionary, is Judge Napolitano. Back in 2012 I decided to pick up his book and read it, along with Ron Paul’s Manifesto, as well as End the Fed. After reading these works in addition to works written by famous economists Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard (Rothbard’s works are shocking and somewhat frightening), I read Joseph Campbell’s Hero with A Thousand Faces. This was done after I had all but given up on writing Once, since it just appeared to have been too much of a chess game. After reading these awesome works, however, the challenge was back on, but stagnation and frustration still accompanied.
  3. Sure, the Southpoint Empire is based off past empires, but heed warning, as I also wanted to point the finger at any possible future empire and warn any potential superpower. My underlying question is this: Is it really necessary for any country, at any given time, to spread influence to other countries that may or may not want this influence? Be it positive or negative. What typically comes with empirical ambitions? What is the byproduct of oppression, colonization, and invasion, for the good or the bad? War, suffering, uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate. While writing Once, my goal was to make a point, and a point to allow all nations of the world to govern themselves.
  4. Uncertainty is something I already touched up on, but I really wish to give it its own section, since it is a key player. With any conflict that is either brewing or picking up solid steam, uncertainty evolves. Who is attacking? When are they coming? Will it be without warning or are the signs in place? If so, what are the signs? Why is this happening? How is it coming to happen? Where are they coming from? How will they reach us? Should we attack or defend? What are they expecting? There is so much uncertainty in the piece of work, but it relates so very well to real life. Think about the world we live in today and the uncertainty we’ve seen both at home and abroad for well over a century. I like to think of our modern day period of uncertainty in relations to the rest of the world beginning in 1898. Some say it started in 1913, with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, but I’m going with the Spanish-American War. Here is my own personal timeline on America’s uncertainty both here in the States and with the rest of the world.

1898: Spanish-American War is fought after America blames Spain for sinking the U.S.S. Maine.

1913: Creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, which would eventually lead to the demolition of the gold standard.

1917: After remaining neutral, America enters World War I, on the side of the Allied Powers.

1919: Treaty of Versailles is signed, imposing harsh sanctions on Germany, who was blamed by the Allied Powers for instigating World War I. League of Nations is created soon after in 1920.

1929: The Great Depression affects the world.

1933: Third Reich begins in Germany, causing terror throughout Europe.

1939: World War II begins.

1941: America declares war on Japan, and later Germany.

1945: World War II ends, Cold War begins.

Okay, so here is where it gets really interesting, because the Cold War begins total and complete uncertainty in the relationship between two superpowers, who then proceeded to gather allies. One superpower influenced the West, while another spread ideas to what would become known as the East Bloc. From 1946 until 1991, America and the rest of the world has seen:

  1. Divisiveness in both the world and within nations.
  2. Terrorism.
  3. Usurpation of many individual rights both at home and abroad, while the idea of collectivism has run rampant, even invading the West. A very good example would be the European Union, which is now showing signs of crumbling as many feel they’ve lost their national identity in what has become a collectivist society. Britain exited the European Union last year and there are rumors that the Netherlands may soon follow suit.
  4. Strained relationships between the United States and the Soviet Union, and if one were expand to today, Russia.
  5. Distractions, most notably distractions from a domestic standpoint, which have really gained steam since the early 2000’s, however, a good starting point for domestic distractions may have begun with the counterculture movement of the 1960’s. However, what invoked the counterculture movement? The Vietnam War. A major and controversial world event, which conscripted young men (typically of lower class) to fight on the front lines. If there were ever a nation so divided in our history, the Vietnam War would rank in the top three, next to The American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Iraq War (2003-2011). Yet something spawned from the Vietnam War, and this is a very key point many people tend to miss, and this is the counterculture movement, which has evolved into dozens of counterculture movements of today, directly in the face of uncertainty. Look, I’m not going to state what these counterculture movements are and whether I’m for or against them, because it isn’t the topic of this post. What I’m stating is that domestic movements typically distract us from uncertainty, which comes in the hands of political agendas, act as distractions from what may really be happening at the moment. Really think deep and look at the current events, and what is really going on. Look over the domestic movements for a moment, and tell me two things that are going on at this very moment that are uncertain to the rights and freedoms of the people. If you answered a wall on the southern border and a 54 billion dollar hike in defense spending (uh, your tax dollars, in other words), you’ve answered correctly.

I really wanted to explain number five in depth, because it really relates to Once. You are going to see the main points and main plots many times, as they’re recurring throughout the work. What is also recurring? Distraction, distraction, distraction. Go back to my number one point, because you’re going to see this distracting allegory several times through. In fact, there will be other topics that may be relevant to the work, but it’ll pique your interest to the point where it nearly gets out of hand. So, with all of this being said, I would like you to do one more thing, and count the words to this post, because there is a reason for doing so, and it’s also a distraction to it as well.

One night, the clock struck twelve.

Outcry of Lost Souls

I descend from a mere fragment of dust from a star light years in space. I won the odds of life, awakening in a fallen unsettled world. Dead to the masses, alive to a hallowed few. During my decades in the sun, I’ve witnessed false prophets, war, blood, and struggle…then I opened my eyes and saw the great power, of The Beast

Born in silence, wrote a Dead Boy. Die in silence, replied The Beast. The struggle of the many to influence the actions of a single soul, only to be halted by chemical means sparks outcry from the armies and peoples of the West. The Lost Souls, silent at birth, silent through life, silent at death.

Think what you cannot say, as words falling into the wrong hands speak tragic futures. As walls and imaginary borders continue to divide our people, a hurting nation suffers among themselves. From tensions above and below thirty-six and thirty, to countercultures of doves, to the profiling of today’s fallen world, a starving, homeless Lost Soul cries into the night, another one spent within a cardboard box.

A walk down memory lane brings me to the meadows of Heaven, and a place to where I cannot return. The worry free life of an oblivious child is something we all crave, until we walk across the path of The Beast, feeding our minds with master passion creed. Material of the Earth, mortal dwellings of status follow our deepest, darkest paths on a highway that knows no hope. A young boy knows not of a big blue marble, but of a flat horizon, gazing as far as the eye can see. An old soul sees a blue sphere, and an infinite number of potential dimensions created by an unknown mathematician.

Heaven is a place, yet as the Lost Soul matures, Heaven becomes a comfort to many. Eden becomes a myth, an old, weathered lost ark becomes theory. The Cross becomes an inverted rugged stapling tale, as fantastical as that of a young wizard. Created in the minds of mankind, the mainstream scribes of today’s day and age encourage a broadened scope to a power elite, spreading the New Age view on the locations and existence of Heaven and Hell.

The darker the path of the Lost Souls, the more the world exposes its naked self. Young men and women free falling into the darkest of places, found with their eyes seeing through the living, far off in the next stage of existence with a smile on their cold, dead faces. The oppressed feel the sense of submission. The depressed find no way out of their current state of mind. The possessed are pulled far into the fiery depths, their faces lost forever, a blur to their ex-peers who once stood alongside them.

Faceless people, born dead to this Earth lurk at our sides. Our brothers, sisters, parents, former acquaintances, and people met in passing possess a lifetime worth of memories in the story of their lives. Yet the deadly forces of The Beast play our loved ones like pawns, setting them up to make moves for the upper caste led by Rothschild, Morgan, and Rockefeller. The establishment…the true establishment.

In a world where the storytellers conceive honest worlds and tales led by the honesty of magic and swords, where the princess met the knight. The City of Gold, Tales from the Elvenpath, A Pagan’s Fantasy, Awakening of Sleeping Beauty, where a teenage boy defeated the most feared dark wizard of all time, where beauty met the beast, where a young prince ruled the pride lands, a Bridge to Terabithia, The Land of Oz, a roller coaster ride, a carnival of life, Alice, you know once did, imagine all of Gaia, a never ending story.

An escape from the harsh realities, to a place only the purest have once walked. If you read this, remember not the unknown author who penned the tale, but the message gifted from the means of an epic tale. The nameless, Lost Soul has a story, each and every one of them. Go to sleep tonight, knowing the power of the individual will always hold the upper hand in the never ending battle with The Beast.

We all witness The Beast’s power, in a land thousands of miles away, influencing the masses, cults of personality. Stand apart from the crowd, be yourself, be unique, and never follow. Start your own pack, lead a hallowed group of disciples, change the world, conquer death, and conquer the despair of the Lost Souls. Oh, the Places You’ll Go, have faith, and you’ll move mountains!

Be brave, be friendly, have wisdom, and live your ambitions, as the lion, the badger, the eagle, and the serpent teach in an epic tale of magic.

NFL Draft Dream Scenarios

Happy birthday, Todd. For your birthday, the Cleveland Browns are going to get you two franchise cornerstones. I’ve been saying that for years. Let’s take a look how that turned out:

2012: Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden

2014: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel

2015: Danny Shelton, Cameron Erving

Three of the last six drafts, the Browns owned two picks in the first round of the NFL Draft. Amazingly, only defensive tackle Danny Shelton has done anything in that time span to prove he’s a viable NFL player. Richardson has bounced around the league to several teams, Weeden is a back-up with the Houston Texans. Justin Gilbert ended up with the Steelers in 2016 and flamed out. Manziel has been out of the league and is currently looking for a way back in. And Cameron Erving has done nothing in two years with the Browns to prove he belongs, although he did look at least average playing right tackle.

Today, I want to go over some dream scenarios that will most definitely help the Browns. There will be no trades for any quarterbacks in these scenarios, since Patriots Coach Bill Belichick implied it’s now rather unlikely he moves Jimmy Garropolo. However, there is a building consensus that hometown boy Mitch Trubisky is picking up steam at this week’s NFL Combine and it is becoming more and more likely “the ground is moving beneath Coach Hue Jackson’s feet” the same way he described the workout of Robert Griffin III just one year ago. We all know how that turned out. Mitch Trubisky is drawing comparisons by many draft analysts to Mark Sanchez and Akili Smith. Any NFL fan knows their story. Both Sanchez and Smith, drafted ten years apart, only had one good year in college (15 college starts for Trubisky), and never lived up to their draft hype, especially Smith. Yet many Browns fans are making a bold comparison to the last quarterback to win the Browns an AFC Central Division Championship. For those of you who don’t know what AFC Central means, it was the name of the AFC North prior to 2002, when the NFL realigned the divisions to their current state, a state that has not been friendly to the Browns.

Fast forward to 2017. The Browns are coming off their worst season in franchise history at 1-15. Hue Jackson is the team’s fearless leader, Jimmy Haslam is the brass who is giving his coach a second chance for a change, while Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta are in their second season together. Finally some stability. Sure, 2016 was ugly, and when I say ugly, I mean a near tragedy. But these things have to happen. Take a look at the following:

2010 Carolina Panthers: 2-14, 2011 Carolina Panthers: 6-10

2011 Indianapolis Colts: 2-14, 2012 Indianapolis Colts: 11-5

2012 Kansas City Chiefs: 2-14, 2013 Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5

2013 Houston Texans: 2-14, 2014 Houston Texans: 9-7

2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-14, 2015 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10

2015 Tennessee Titans: 3-13, 2016 Tennessee Titans: 9-7

Every single team that has held the worst record in the league improved substantially in their next season. In the case of the Panthers and Buccaneers, both were playoff contenders just two seasons after bottoming out at 2-14. Now take a look at the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Chargers. Every single one of these teams have been close, so close, so many times over the last ten seasons, but they weren’t bad enough. This is what separates these teams from the teams listed above. They aren’t good football teams, even in 2015 when Kirk Cousins led the Redskins to an NFC East Title. The Redskins are still an impact player or two away. Sure, an impact player can be found anywhere in the draft, but many are found at the top. Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Jameis Winston were all taken at number one overall.

Many NFL Draft analysts are stating there isn’t a single quarterback worthy of the number one overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Browns need to fizzle this out. We need to remember that the NFL Draft is the ultimate chess game. There isn’t an easy way to scout these prospects. Last year, the ongoing consensus was that Jared Goff was the superior player to Carson Wentz. Goff couldn’t win in college, so why was he so highly regarded by analysts such as Mel Kiper and Todd McShay? Wentz won in college, but he played his college ball at North Dakota State. Yet Wentz is a proven winner just like former small school studs Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, and Ben Roethlisberger, all AFC North franchise quarterbacks. Many may call bluff on me calling Andy Dalton a franchise quarterback, but he led the Bengals to five straight playoff appearances, and started six seasons. That, by definition, is a franchise quarterback. Do the Browns have one in Trubisky? Give it at least a year, but one thing is for certain, and that is if the Browns think Trubisky is their guy, by all means he needs to go to Cleveland.

Dream Scenario One: Mitch Trubisky #1 overall, Dalvin Cook #12 overall. The NFL is a copycat league, and here the Browns are doing something eerily identical to what the Cowboys did last season. It worked in Dallas with fantastic results. Will it work in Cleveland? The Browns don’t have that offensive line the Cowboys possess and the defense is in transition, but it’s a start. The Browns can most definitely benefit from this, especially with two fantastic committee backs in Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. Make Cook the number one back and behind him is a downhill runner in Crowell and a hybrid type of running back in Johnson. If Terrelle Pryor resigns and Corey Coleman slides nicely into the number two spot at receiver, Trubisky has something to work with, especially with Cook lining up in the backfield.

Dream Scenario Two: Myles Garrett #1 overall, Malik Hooker #12 overall. As previously mentioned, the defense is in transition, but with Gregg Williams, a smooth transition is assured. If Gregg Williams were an illegitimate descendant of Paul Brown, I wouldn’t be surprised, and I see a lot of Brown in Gregg Williams. If you give two former college football studs for Williams to work with, that defense just went from worst to somewhere in the middle of the pack in a three hour timespan.

Dream Scenario Three: Mitch Trubisky #1 overall, DeShaun Watson #12 overall. Bear with me on this one and let’s take a voyage back to the year 1989, where the Cowboys took Hall of Fame Quarterback Troy Aikman at number one. During that year’s NFL Supplemental Draft, the Cowboys took Quarterback Steve Walsh, burning a first round pick on the guy. It worked, especially due to the fact not Aikman, but Walsh, gave the Cowboys their lone win in the 1989 NFL Season. The same could happen here. What if Trubisky turned out more like Tim Couch or Mike Phipps? And what if Watson developed into a superstar somewhere else? It’d be better if the Browns took Watson. Sure, the drawback here is that a quarterback controversy is all but guaranteed. However, one of these two HAS to be legit! If neither are, this goes down as the worst draft in the history of the Browns. If they’re both good, the Browns just earned themselves another first round pick in 2018, because someone (probably the New York Jets) will be working the phone.

Dream Scenario Four: DeShaun Watson #1 overall, Mike Williams #12 overall. Two college football teammate trading in their orange and purple for orange and brown. Doesn’t that just sound right? Sure, they may not have blown everyone away during their collegiate careers, but at least they won a lot of games together. The Browns will have two winners looking to turn around a hard luck, pained franchise.

Dream Scenario Five: Myles Garrett #1 overall, Jonathan Allen #12 overall. Sure, this is highly unlikely, but just imagine the possibilities. The Browns would most definitely have to trade up in order to draft both Garrett and Allen, possibly even trade up to the number two pick. This could easily be a ringer or two for the franchise. Sure, the Indianapolis Colts tried this once upon a time with Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt back in 1992, the only time an NFL team held the first two picks since 1958. And trust me, it didn’t work out well for Indy.

There you have it, five dream scenarios for the Cleveland Browns.Which scenario is most likely to occur?  If I had to do a top twelve mock draft at the moment, it would look like this.

  1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE/Texas A&M: The best player in this draft overall. The Browns need help at defensive end, where only Emmanuel Ogbah is a legitimate threat.
  2. San Francisco 49ers: DeShone Kizer, QB/Notre Dame: Kizer struggled to win with the Fighting Irish, but the 49ers reportedly like him a lot. The NFL Combine speaks more wonders than it does smokescreens, especially for the highest picking teams.
  3. Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky, QB/North Carolina: The Jay Cutler experiment is all but over. Sure, Tony Romo or Tyrod Taylor could come to town, but if I’m the Bears, I want a guy to build around. Neither Romo nor Taylor are leading anyone to the Super Bowl.
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DE/Alabama: A dream situation for the Jaguars. With Allen falling to four, the Jaguars just landed a franchise cornerstone on defense.
  5. Tennessee Titans (via L.A. Rams): Marshon Lattimore, CB/Ohio State: The Titans looked strong on offense en route to a 9-7 finish. Now is the time to look over to the defensive side of the ball if the time would like to party their way to a Music City Miracle like it’s 1999.
  6. New York Jets: Pat Mahomes, QB/Texas Tech: You’re probably wondering why I put Mahomes here, right? This is the same New York Jets that reached for Christian Hackenberg last season, and in all honesty, I had Hackenberg going to New York in the first round in last year’s final mock. Mahomes is shooting up draft boards everywhere, and the Jets prey on that.
  7. Los Angeles Chargers: Leonard Fournette, RB/LSU: They have a back in Melvin Gordon, but Gordon has proven he’s nothing more than a short yardage back, albeit a very good one. Enter the 240lb Fournette, and party like it’s 2001. I know LaDanian Tomlinson will be.
  8. Carolina Panthers: Mike Williams, WR/Clemson: Sure, I’m probably going against conventional logic, but since I started watching the NFL Draft back in 2003, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to go against logic.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals: Jamal Adams, SS/LSU: Arguably the best safety in the draft class, Cincy wins big here by taking the best player available at this point in the draft.
  10. Buffalo Bills: DeShaun Watson, QB/Clemson: Finally, Watson goes to the Buffalo Bills, who are very likely going to be in the quarterback hunt when the new league year begins later this month. The only question: will he be the next Jim Kelly or the next E.J. Manuel?
  11. New Orleans Saints: Malik McDowell, DL/MSU: The Saints defense has long been the weak point ever since the departure of former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams.This is a team that is an entire defense away from being competitive once again.
  12. Cleveland Browns: Malik Hooker, S/Ohio State: The Browns had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL in 2016. While Joe Haden, Jamar Taylor, and Briean Boddy-Calhoun looked like a decent trio, too many teams threw over the top and picked on the inexperienced, non-existent safeties. Hooker helps out here.