CANTON, Ohio- The 2017 NFL draft is only 27 days as of today, March 31, 2017. All I’ve heard about from so many media members? The Browns must find their QB at 12 or they must find their QB in this year’s draft. So, that leads me to asking this question……. why? Why do the Browns have to find their future QB? Why force the issue? It’s already well documented by many experts, that every single quarterback coming out of this draft is a project. Now, that’s not to say that the experts will all be right, but if you’re the Cleveland Browns, you can’t afford to take a chance on a project quarterback. Cleveland needs impact players with their first four picks. Cleveland needs players that should be starters come day one.
I’ve already suggested the Browns try to package some picks and trade up into the top 20 for a third top 20 pick. Cleveland needs to avoid taking a quarterback and take a player of higher value. You take what the draft gives you. If a QB doesn’t jump out at you with your current pick, take a player that you have rated higher. Stick to your board and stay with it. Stop over thinking it and stick with your plan.
Now, speaking of quarterbacks. I’m curious as to why everyone is so quick to just want to dismiss Brock Osweiler. Is he a top 10 QB? No. Is Brock a top 20 QB? No. But, right now, the Cleveland Browns currently have Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler as their quarterbacks. First off, Kevin Hogan showed me no signs that he is capable of being a starting QB in the NFL. As fan’s have finally come to realize, you don’t last long in the NFL if you’re a running QB. I don’t see Hogan lasting too long in the NFL. When it comes to Cody Kessler, everyone that reads my articles most of the time, knows how I feel about Kessler. While I do not feel he’s a franchise QB, Kessler didn’t have the best supporting cast around him to help him be successful. A terrible defense, bad offensively line and a constant changing of offensively linemen really hurt Kessler. But, Cody was shy when it came throwing the ball down the field and taking chances when it came to throwing the ball into tight windows. That frustrated head coach Hue Jackson.
Getting back to Brock Osweiler. Why not give Brock a chance? The Browns don’t have much to lose. For the record, John Elway offered Brock $16 million a year. Maybe Elway seen something in Osweiler. I’m not saying Osweiler is actually a good quarterback, but Cleveland is not exactly in a position to be picky with many quarterbacks. They let go of Robert Griffin which was a smart move. Brock Osweiler is 6’7 and weighs 245 pounds and has a strong arm. My question mark for Osweiler? Can he read defenses? Osweiler went 5-2 in 2015 for Denver. So again, why not give the man a chance? If he plays terrible, you can let him go. But, the more competition at QB, the better for Cleveland. I’ve already suggested that Cleveland draft’s a QB late in the draft. Have a quarterback competition between Brock, Cody and the draft pick. You want to add Kevin Hogan into that mix? Go ahead, it can’t hurt. I’d rather wait for a QB in the 2018 draft to wow Cleveland’s front office and say to themselves “That’s our guy”. Again, Osweiler isn’t the second coming of Otto Graham, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. I’m not saying that at all, but, again, what’s there to lose? Cleveland is not making the playoffs. Besides, I’d rather use a draft pick on a stud on defense.
Here are your top QB’s from 2016 in regards to passing yards-
- Drew Brees-(5,208): No playoffs
- Matt Ryan- (4,944): Lost Super Bowl
- Kirk Cousins- (4,917): No playoffs
- Aaron Rodgers- (4,428): Lost in NFC title game
- Philip Rivers- (4,386): No playoffs
- Matthew Stafford- (4,327): Lost wild card game
- Joe Flacco- (4,317): No playoffs
- Andrew Luck- (4,240): No playoffs
- Carson Palmer- (4,233): No playoffs
- Russell Wilson- (4,219): Lost in divisional round
Now if you take a look at those QB’s, all of them threw for a lot of yards, but six of the ten DID NOT make the playoffs.
My point is this, you can have a top 10 quarterback all you want, you still need the pieces around him to compete at a high level. That’s why Cleveland needs to take the best player available at every pick. This defense could potentially help the Browns improve their defense from the bottom three of the NFL, to a top 15 or maybe 10. Yes, the draft is that loaded and talented on the defensive side of the ball. The Browns have a chance to take advantage of it. They also have a defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams who has been the mastermind behind some of the best defenses dating back to his days starting with the Titans.
Build up the defense and, for this coming season, try to make the defense your best offense. Draft players that can get after the QB or at least put good consistent pressure on the quarterback. Improve your run defense. Become a better tackling team. Be the team that is in the top 5 or 10 of the NFL that forces turnovers. Draft guys that will help the secondary. Cleveland desperately needs to improve their passing defense.
Here are teams that are a quarterback away from possibly winning a Super Bowl. I may be wrong on some, but based on what I watched in 2016, these teams fill the bill of needing a good QB-
- Denver Broncos
- Houston Texans
- Kansas City Chiefs- They might need a little more than just a good QB, but Alex Smith isn’t the answer.
- Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill isn’t the answer. I think the Dolphins could make a nice run if they had a franchise QB
- Arizona Cardinals- Carson Palmers best days are behind him. If Arizona can find a great young QB, I think they have the defense to help carry them a good long way.
Wouldn’t it be nice to only be one or two players away from being a championship contender, rather than 35 or more? Well, right now, the Cleveland Browns are way more than just a quarterback away.
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis