The Browns traded back into the first round to get Johnny Manziel in May’s NFL Draft.

The rookie quarterback out of Texas A&M slipped to the 20’s in the first round after many assumed he’d go in the top half. Manziel is widely criticized whether it’d be for his money signs, wild weekends in Las Vegas or “Johnny being Johnny.”

Whether you look at Manziel as a starting quarterback or not the fact is he’s reckless, entertaining and a seat filler. However, because he puts people in the seats, that shouldn’t be a reason to start Manziel.

The Browns have two signal-callers competing for the starting job: Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel.

Hoyer, who is a 28 year old veteran QB from Michigan State, won his first three starts last season until he tore his ACL.

When the Browns traded back into the first round, the thought was they’re picking a wide receiver not Johnny Manziel. That simply wasn’t the case. If the Browns start Hoyer most NFL fans will look down on that decision saying ‘he’s 28 and never was a full time starter’ — If the Browns start Manziel it will be as hyped as Tim Tebow playing in a Super Bowl.

The Cleveland Browns wide receiving core stands as follows: Anthony Armstrong, Miles Austin, Travis Benjamin, Nate Burleson, Josh Cooper, Josh Gordon (appealing suspension), Marlon Moore, Jonathan Krause,  Andrew Hawkins, Charles Johnson, Chandler Jones, Tyler Gabriel and Willie Snead.

The Cleveland Browns reckless draft included passing on receivers Jordan Matthews, Marqise Lee, Cody Latimer and Allen Robinson Instead the Browns went in the second round and picked tackle Joel Bitonio.

The refusal of a wide receiver may come to haunt the Browns, ultimately this season is a gamble.

If Manziel starts, he has limited talent in the receiving game. Miles Austin and Nate Burleson are serviceable, but Burleson is aging and Austin can’t stay healthy. With that the Browns have a good tight end in Jordan Cameron but he’s having injury issues himself with his shoulder.

Hoyer or Manziel is the likely debate, but the argument should be who wants to be set up for failure?

Hoyer’s success may have been because of Josh Gordon, while Manziel’s success at A&M may have been Mike Evans. Do I doubt that both quarterbacks can get it done with this receiving core?

Of course.

What can the Browns do?

Speaking with NFL experts and two executives, a trade market for Hoyer is a “possibility.”

Is the return on a possible deal good enough to make the Browns better? As one GM said “the risk in trading for a QB coming off a torn ACL would warrant at best a second option wide receiver. That’s if a team could really see Hoyer as the guy.”

With that the Browns are put in a similar position they’re in now. The Browns enter the preseason with honestly the worst receiving core in the NFL and that affects the quarterback position; whoever starts.

As the preseason goes along and cuts are made, the Browns could find a receiver dumped on the market. General Manager Ray Farmer‘s inability to select a wide out will cost the Browns.

Picking a tackle when the Browns knew about the troubled past of Josh Gordon and the possibility of a suspension was Matt Millen-esk.

The Browns play in Detroit this Saturday in the long anticipated debut of Johnny Manziel.

Follow Joe Chapp on Twitter @JoeChappM1


About The Author

Joe Chapp
Lions Beat Reporter and NFC North Beat Reporter

Broadcasting student who got his shot to cover one of his favorite childhood teams at the age of 19. Lions Beat Writer since 2013 NFL Writer and NFC North specialist

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