Cleveland Browns and the quarterback saga
Since January, I have been writing about The Cleveland Browns and the upcoming draft. I have gone over why it would be a mistake to waste the first pick in the draft on a quarterback; along with the debacle of drafting Tim Couch in 1999 and the futility that has been with the Browns ever since. Additionally, I have reviewed the moves made (and missed) via free agency and have provided a defense-laden mock draft that could significantly improve the Browns' record this year and for years to come.
The one area that I did not address was the position of quarterback, although in some ways I did, by reminding everyone that offense wins games but it is the defense that wins championships. This means that the Browns shouldn't "force" a quarterback to be drafted, especially in the first couple of rounds in this year's draft. If one were taken that high in the draft, the fans and the media would be expecting him be the opening day starter... whether he was ready or not. This has been the proverbial broken record in Cleveland, happening over and over again. Focus on improving the team.
This does not mean that the Browns shouldn't draft a quarterback or even two, it just means that they shouldn't panic and force one to be drafted. Let one fall to the Browns. Better yet, there have been rumors that coach Hue Jackson liked one or two of the quarterbacks he got to coach at the Senior Bowl. The names Davis Webb of California, Pittsburgh's Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs from Tennessee are the ones that I hear coming up as potential middle to late round choices that interest the Browns. I expect one of these quarterbacks, most likely Dobbs, to be selected by the Browns in the third round or later.
I want to add my "two cents" and request that they also use their final pick in this year's draft on C.J. Beathard of Iowa. I watched some of the NFL Combine and Beathard threw better than DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame, who some view as a first-round candidate. What would be wrong with going into this year's training camp with between four and six candidates for the job? Nothing! The team would be improved around the position and coach Jackson may find his guy through this type of open competition.
Lastly, for those that want some out-of-the-box thinking, I had mentioned in the last issue that the second pick in the second round could be a "wild card." Think about the Browns using that pick to find one of the worst five teams in the league, panicking and willing to trade their first-round pick in next year's draft as part of the deal. Cleveland would then have two first-round picks and three second-round picks, to either use for the quarterback they want next year or combine to trade up to obtain him. Following this strategy, they would have a solid team in place that would allow a premier quarterback prospect to learn from the bench without having his career shortened, like Tim Couch.
As a final note, you are welcome to join me at The Hooley House in Westlake on Thursday night, April 27, to "enjoy" the first round of the draft or to simply enjoy ... a draft. I have a room reserved and expect to be there by 6:30 p.m. to enjoy their food specials while waiting for the Browns to make their first selection (Myles Garrett?), shortly after 8 p.m.
Proud single parents of four children that enjoys sporting events and is the President of Parents Without Partners Chapter #1395.