Browns, don't use the first pick to draft a quarterback

Now that the Cleveland Browns' season is over, we can expect all of the local sports media to mandate that the team use the first pick in the upcoming draft on a quarterback. The expectation for this quarterback will be to lead this team to the Super Bowl and win it. I'd like to explain why I believe that is not the best use of the pick, especially this year when there isn't one that stands out above all others.

The Browns have five picks in the first 65 selections to be made this year. They need to use the choices wisely and come up with impact players to become the foundation of the team going forward.

For now, let's look at this year's final eight playoff teams, starting with the one-time consensus favorites to make the Super Bowl, New England and Dallas. Their quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Dak Prescott, were selected in the sixth round and fourth round, respectively. The next teams on the analysts' favorites list, until Derek Carr broke his leg, would have been Oakland and Seattle. Carr was selected by Oakland in the second round and Russell Wilson was a third-round choice for Seattle.

From here we have Pittsburgh, Houston, Atlanta, Green Bay and Kansas City. This group does have quarterbacks that were selected in the first and second rounds across the board. However, only one was the first pick in the draft, Alex Smith playing for Kansas City, who is known as a "game manager" and not the guy expected to lead his team to victory. Instead, his role is to avoid making mistakes and not doing things that would lose the game for his team.

There is only one other quarterback in this group that was selected in the top 10 picks of his draft year, Atlanta's Matt Ryan. Last year, he and his team struggled due to a porous offensive line. Ironically, Alex Mack, the former center for the Cleveland Browns has played a major role in solidifying Atlanta's offensive line and allowing Ryan to look like he could lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

The teams listed above are the ones the Browns are looking to emulate going forward. Their quarterbacks are obviously very important but they are proof that it is not a necessity to use the first pick in a draft on a quarterback to be successful. In case you're still not convinced, look at these names: Brad Johnson, Jeff Hostetler, Trent Dilfer, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, and even Kurt Warner. All of these quarterbacks won Super Bowls. All but Kurt Warner are not viewed as premier quarterbacks but speaking of Kurt Warner, it is also important to remember that he played in Europe and the arena league before he got his big break to lead the Rams to the Super Bowl. There's truth to the old saying, "offense wins games but defense wins championships" – just ask Cam Newton and Von Miller! To the Browns, I urge you – DON"T WASTE THE PICK!

Greg Schwert

Proud single parents of four children that enjoys sporting events and is the President of Parents Without Partners Chapter #1395.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:40 AM, 01.24.2017