Cleveland Browns

NFL Draft 2011: Peyton Hillis Represents Cleveland Browns by Announcing Pick

NEW YORK - APRIL 28:  Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns participates in a photo shoot for the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 12 on April 28, 2011 in Time Square, New York City  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for EA Sports)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IApril 29, 2011

Browns Running Back Represents Team At The Draft

Browns running back Peyton Hillis announced the Browns first-round draft pick, a fitting move by the man who revived smashmouth football in Cleveland and now is the Madden 2012 cover boy.

Hillis was a rising star in Denver until Josh McDaniels decided he was a genius and there was no room for a running back who destroys defenders and scores touchdowns. Now in Cleveland in one of the most lopsided trades in the history of the game, Hillis is becoming a football celebrity.

Hillis revived the Browns offense in 2010 and performed well despite being saddled with some of the worst excuses for an offensive coordinator in the history of the game.

Hillis is becoming an ambassador of the game as his star rises in the NFL. Having achieved superstar status by winning the cover of Madden 2012, Hillis is going to find himself in much more demand over the next year.

MUST READ: Live NFL Draft Blog Plus Grading The Picks

By having Hillis announce the Browns first-round selection, it shows the NFL is aware of what Hillis can do for the league from a PR standpoint.

Hillis is very well-mannered and speaks intelligently, he is not just a dumb jock.

With Hillis, the Browns also have a "face of the franchise" until Colt McCoy comes into his own, which could be as soon as this year.

With new coaches and a new offensive philosophy (the West Coast Offense), the Browns are poised to start rising in the division. It may not happen this year, but with the new front office in place and everyone on the same page, the Browns have their best chance of being successful since they returned to the league in 1999.

Looking to the future, Hillis will continue to be the featured running back while McCoy develops his game under Head Coach Pat Shurmur.

The Browns offense should be more potent than it has been in years under the new regime and Browns fans will not have to worry about the team "taking the field goal" rather than going for the touchdown, a problem under former Head Coach Eric Mangini.

Mangini always seemed willing to settle for a field goal rather than try and score a touchdown. So while his team scored field goals, the other team scored touchdowns and the outcome of the game was very predictable. Twin 5-11 seasons really were not a surprise in retrospect.

If the Browns draft well, and the players develop quickly, the Browns could be back in the playoffs sooner rather than later.

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