NFL Teams completed the draft process this past week in Dallas, Texas, driving ever closer to a 90-man roster heading into the opening of training camps in late July. The draft is one of the processes a team utilizes to build and improve their roster, free agency and signing undrafted free agents (UDFAs) are the other two. How do the Cleveland Browns stack up roster wise after mostly completing these three processes? One thing in favor of the Browns is that they cannot be any worse than their 0-16 performance in 2017.

The schedule in 2018 is brutal, the Browns open with back to back games against future Hall of Fame QBs, starting the season at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger, followed by a road trip to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints.

Following the Saints game, there’s a Thursday night home game against the New York Jets Week 3 of the 2018 NFL Season, prognosticators think the Browns can win this match-up in 2018 (fortune tellers thought the same in 2017, the Browns lost 17-14), but the game comes with only three days rest and Thursday night football games are considered “sloppy” because of the short week.

The NFC South will be contested by the AFC North for inter-conference match-ups, meaning the Browns draw Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa plus New Orleans week two. Three of these teams made the playoffs in 2017. There’s been no recent success against division foes Pittsburgh, an early favorite to reach Super Bowl LIII, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Baltimore.

Looking at the Browns Schedule in 2018, there is difficulty finding four wins. Is it possible the Browns made all these changes, in the front office, players on the field, resulting from massive draft capital, selecting five times among the first 64 player selections in the 2018 draft, be more competitive in every way, and still go 2-14?

Browns lauded in free agency

New Cleveland general manager John Dorsey started free agency in mid-March with a bang, trading a fourth-round 2018 selection and 2019 seventh-round selection to the Miami Dolphins for All-Pro slot wide receiver Jarvis Landry, later signing him to a massive contract extension making Landry one of the highest paid wide receivers in the NFL.

Landry is sure-handed, dropped passes tortured the Browns during their win-less 2017 campaign, a three-time Pro Bowler, and holds the NFL record for most receptions in his first four years (400 catches total). The same day as the Landry trade, the new regime in Cleveland traded their 2018 third round draft pick (65 overall) to the Buffalo Bills for QB Tyrod Taylor, a crafty veteran who led the Bills to the playoffs last season despite being benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman.

Nathan Peterman would throw five interceptions in the first half of his debut against the San Diego Chargers, resulting in Taylor being reinserted in the second half with his team down 37-7. Buffalo would eventually lose 54-24 but sneak into the playoffs after Baltimore's loss to Cincinnati in dramatic fashion Week 17.

Tyrod Taylor brings immediate credibility to the position and offers a huge upgrade over DeShone Kizer, who’s disastrous rookie season resulted in a trade to Green Bay for defensive back Damarious Randall, the move with the Packers occurring on the same day as the Landry and Taylor trades. Dorsey made a splash, all in one day, and the Browns were media darlings the following weeks as we waited in great anticipation for the 2018 Nfl Draft.

Browns lay foundation in the draft

First overall selection Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma, fourth overall selection Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State, and 33rd overall selection Austin Corbett, OT, Nevada, laid the foundation for a ten-year window for the Browns to win a title.

First you lay the foundation, build the house, then build the window. These first three draft picks play the three most important positions for any NFL team.

The Browns were hit hard by the early retirement of future Hall of Fame left tackle, Joe Thomas. He didn’t miss a snap for 11 years, over 10,000 snaps in a row. The NFL, from an analytical standpoint, does not see this occurrence very often. The greatest shame for the Browns will be that they were not able to put together a competitive team with the all-important position of LT being played at a Hall of Fame level. Austin Corbett will have a chance to fill some of the void created by Thomas’ departure.

Their next three draft picks in 2018, Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia, Chad Thomas, DL, Miami, who will be given the opportunity to play on the defensive interior, and Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida, a player described as first round talent, maybe the best receiver in the draft class, comes with character issues and concerns, addressed the three biggest needs for the Browns.

Do you want to grade their draft? Cleveland, Dorsey, you get an A - for sure! You spend the first three draft picks on the three most important positions, taking the safest QB prospect in the class first overall, then you took players filling a position of need with the next three draft choices.

UDFAs round out roster to 85 players

With NFL roster sizes currently set at 90, teams look to sign players who went undrafted this past weekend in Dallas. The Browns ended up signing 11 UDFAs, looking to evaluate prospects mostly on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary. Josh Boutte, G, LSU was brought in to compete for depth at guard behind entrenched starters Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler.

Taylor McNamara, TE, USC, will compete for a roster spot against Seth DeValve with David Njoku primed for a quantum leap in his second year with Taylor at QB and free agent signee Darren Fells from the Detroit Lions firmly entrenched at the TE position.

Coaching Change on the Horizon?

How long will the Cleveland Browns stick with Hue Jackson as head coach? After posting a 1-31 record in his first two seasons, how many losses to open the season will be tolerated? When will Hue Jackson get fired? 0-1? 0-2? 0-3? Cleveland has no recent success against Pittsburgh or any division foe, and Drew Brees is virtually unbeatable at home. 0-2 is very realistic heading into Week 3’s game against the Jets on Thursday Night Football. When does Baker Mayfield become the starter? 0-3? 0-4? 0-5? While Coach Jackson seems to have the support of ownership, reality dictates Jackson's seat is the hottest coaching seat in the NFL.