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2020 NFL Draft

Ability to start immediately 'ideal' for Browns' 1st-round pick, but not mandatory

As he talked about the Browns as a whole Wednesday, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown stressed the need for patience and continuity with the plan in place, something Cleveland's three AFC North rivals have executed at a high level.

The same philosophy carried over when the conversation shifted to the team's first of 10 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. At No. 2 overall, immediate expectations will be understandably high but the Browns won't be caught up in the short-term, Brown said.

"I think ideally you have the best player in the long run that can play the soonest," Brown said Wednesday in an interview on SiriusXM's The Opening Drive. "That rarely is the case. We are going to take a long-term view."

Brown laughed off any prodding about the Browns' specific plans at No. 2. It's a spot in the draft that has produced a number of Pro Bowl and even Hall of Fame players, many of whom found immediate success as rookies. One of them, quarterback Robert Griffin III (2012), is one of the newest editions to the Browns' roster.

Still, even the best players to come off the board at No. 2 have taken time to develop into their full potential. Recently retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson compiled just 756 yards as a rookie, one of two seasons in which he finished with fewer than 1,000 yards. Six-time Pro Bowl quarterback and No. 2 pick in the 1999 NFL Draft Donovan McNabb started just six games as a rookie.

Griffin's arrival, and the depth at other positions on the roster, provides some assurance the Browns will have some options if the No. 2 pick isn't quite ready to perform by the season opener.

"We're going to make the decision to select the player to give us the best chance to win over the long-term," Brown said. "That is the goal here to have that sustained success. We will be patient in developing our players here. Ideally, you'd have a guy that when we line up in September Week 1 is out there playing for us. We will be patient and make that determination depending on who we select."

Take a look at the Cleveland Browns roster as of September 1, 2017.

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