The Cleveland Browns certainly thought following someone else’s playbook was the way to go. They drafted a kicker in the fourth round, admittedly the best kicker on the board but a kicker nonetheless. Cade York can boom kicks 50-yards and the Browns took him in part because the Bengals drafted a kicker last year and he had a key game for two which helped the team get to the Super Bowl.
It should be noted, however, that the Rams signed their kicker after two failed stints elsewhere, and they won the Super Bowl. So maybe overvaluing kickers and wasting draft picks on them isn’t the thing to do.
After all, history isn’t on the Browns’ side here. Daniel Carlson, Austin Seibert, Sam Sloman and Zane Gonzales were all players recently drafted and are no longer on the same team that drafted them. Two of them, Seibert and Gonzales, were selected by the Browns.
Stop drafting kickers. It doesn’t matter if one team found success, or if the Raiders got one that lasted 15-odd years. Those are outliers.
The Cleveland Browns’ best kicker since 1999 wasn’t drafted or even a rookie.
The Browns are deadset on copying other people’s stories of success. The Bengals found success with a kicker they drafted? So can we, despite no one else in recent draft history find success with a kicker they drafted.
Yet, they’re so dead set on ignoring relevant history, that they’re forgetting their own. The greatest Browns kicker this side of Lou Groza, Phil Dawson, was not drafted. Not by any team. In fact, when he came to Cleveland in 1999, he wasn’t even a rookie. He had been in the league for an entire year at that point but couldn’t catch on as a team’s full-time starter.
The Browns need another defensive lineman, a safety, and another receiver; they could’ve waited on getting a kicker.