Since the second coming of the Browns in Cleveland, they have been looking for a franchise quarterback. I’m not real confident that they are going to find one with their first and 12th pick in this years NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns Should NOT Draft A QB In The First Round
With the Browns needing upgrades at so many positions they should focus on taking the best player available instead of reaching for a quarterback like they seem to do every year.
Since the Browns joined the NFL in 1950, they have had 55 different quarterbacks start at least one game for them. Since 1999, 24 different players have lined up under center as the starting quarterback. Tim Couch, the Browns first overall pick in the 1999 draft, is the only quarterback to start all 16 games in a single season, accomplishing this feat in 2001. Cleveland has started more than one QB in 15 consecutive seasons.
Since ’99 the Browns have taken 4 quarterbacks in the first round (Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and Johnny Manziel). The latest of these drafted QBs, Johnny Manziel, only started 8 games in a Browns uniform.
After releasing RGIII, (a former first-round QB of the Washington Redskins) the Browns quarterback depth chart is as follows: Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Brock Osweiler. Not exactly a quarterback room that is going to win you a playoff game, but none of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft will have a formidable impact day one of this season. In my opinion, if a player is not likely to make an immediate impact, they should not be drafted within the first 15 picks of the first round.
If the Browns want to keep improving their roster they need to take the best player available with their first two picks.
Myles Garrett is the consensus number one selection, and for good reason. He is a dominant edge rusher that will start for the Browns day one. A lot of people like to compare Garrett to Von Miller because they both played similar positions at Texas A&M. However, Miller is a little smaller and faster, so to me, the better comparison is Jadeveon Clowney.
Both players have a ton of similarities coming into the draft:
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Coming into the NFL, Garrett is a bigger stronger version of Clowney, which will help him stay on the field, something that plagued Clowney early in his career.
It’s a no-brainer, Cleveland must take Garrett with the number one pick.
Where it gets interesting is the Browns’ number 12 pick. A number of mock drafts, including a few contributors here at Sports Al Dente, have the Browns taking a quarterback at this point in the draft. Whether it’s Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson, it’s clear that neither quarterback will be ready to start in 2017.
It would make so much more sense for the Browns to address another need here and wait on a QB. Like I stated earlier, why take someone this early that will not have an immediate impact? Depending on how the first 11 picks pan out, there will undoubtedly be a player available that fits this description.
O.J. Howard may be the highest regarded tight end to enter the draft ever. I know the Browns have Gary Barnidge, but let’s face it, Gary had one really good season and is aging. Howard is a freak athlete that would be a tremendous red zone threat. If he is sitting there at 12, the Browns must take him.
Guys like Malik Hooker, Jonathan Allen, Taco Charlton, Marlon Humphrey, Reuben Foster, and Jabrill Peppers are all day one starting defensive players that could be available to the Browns at 12 as well.
These players would be involved in the starting lineup right away, which is what you want at 12, not a player that you have to develop for a year and may not even pan out. The Browns have squandered in the first round enough throughout their revived history.
Now we come to their pick at 33, the first selection of the 2nd round. Whether they trade back into the late first round or keep the first pick in the second, this is where Cleveland should strike and take a developmental quarterback.
The quarterback with perhaps the greatest potential, but also needs quite a bit of work, is Patrick Mahomes II out of Texas Tech. He is a true gunslinger with unbelievable arm strength but needs work on his fundamentals and mechanics.
Letting a player develop when they are selected late in the first or second round is understandable and typically accepted. When you take a QB at 12, or if for some God forsaken reason at 1, there is so much more pressure to thrown him into the starting role. Look at Jared Goff. The Rams tried to hold Goff off and let him develop because he was nowhere near ready to start. Once the Rams began struggling, the pressure was too great, and Goff was thrust under center. We all know how that ended up as he was one of the worst QBs in the league last season.
No. This time the Browns need not take the bait. And I don’t think they will. Take the best player and watch as your team drastically improves. 24 different starting quarterbacks in less than 20 years are not by mistake. Winning organizations start in the draft, and in 2017 the Browns will not find their starting quarterback with their first two picks.