AFC North is an open race except in Cleveland

The AFC North is one of the most intriguing divisions in football. The Ravens treat their games against the Pittsburgh Steelers as their own pair of mini-Super Bowls. The Steelers are the waning hegemonic power, and the Bengals are the up and coming team that has a lot of potential and could find a way to steal a division title if the Ravens and Steelers slip up in 2012.

The AFC North really is anyone’s division unless you’re the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have continued to repeat the cycle that has become known simply as Cleveland sports. Colt McCoy would be a good backup quarterback, but he’s no NFL starter, and he’s certainly not in the same company as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. He’s a genuinely good guy, but he embodies the Browns as a whole. Just ok.

Okay has become a way of life for Browns fans. It’s as if they’re stuck in a perpetual funk that doesn’t allow them to draft or sign elite players. It’s a crazy cycle that doesn’t make much sense. They need help breaking out of the cycle, and they need only look up to Detroit to find out how.

The Lions were stuck in the same rut, but they overcame it with a few elite players drafted at the top end of consecutive draft classes. They started at the most important position, the quarterback. It’s the same position the Browns should be taking. They need to replace Colt McCoy with the future of the franchise.

To that end, the Browns may look to trade down a few picks in the draft and draft Ryan Tannehill. Yes, it would be a little bit of a reach to draft Tannehill in the top 10, but it’s difficult to function as a team without a quarterback, and it’s something that has been missing in Cleveland for a very long time. It’s time for Cleveland to catch up with the rest of the league. You have to have a quarterback and a great passing game to be a great team, and the Browns have neither. That has to change for them to have any hope of making the playoffs over the next few years.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.