Although some teams go for a "win-now" mentality, you also want to eventually have a team that can win for a very long time. Writers from ESPN decided to take a look into the future and compile a list of projected power rankings. Should we be naive to believe that a national media outlet would give the Cleveland Browns some respect, especially with the Steelers' and Ravens' defenses getting older?
A respected committee of ESPN experts -- including Trent Dilfer, Mel Kiper, Gary Horton and Matt Williamson -- got together to look into the crystal ball and produce the NFL Future Power Rankings. The projection is for the 2015 season and takes into account five factors: roster (32.5 percent), quarterback (17.5 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching (20 percent).
Unfortunately, the panelists ranked the Browns dead last. I'm sure Trent Dilfer couldn't wait to make that projection. Here's their reasoning as to why Cleveland was ranked 32nd, despite taking Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden this year:
32. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Williamson: Color me skeptical of the Browns' front office -- and this organization isn't exactly patient. Cleveland's front office is now directly tied to Brandon Weeden's future success. I can't say that is the perfect position to be in.
Hensley: With the exception of Trent Richardson, this team lacks playmakers. That's a rough spot to be in when you play defenses like the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals. And don't forget that Weeden will turn 32 during the 2015 season.
Thanks for going out on a limb, guys.
For Insiders, the full article, with more detail, can be found here.