CANTON, Ohio- Throughout the country, whether it be the radio or television shows, they’re all talking about the NFL draft to an extent, which is 50 days away as of right now. And obviously, the Cleveland Browns hold the #1 overall pick. So many people say the Browns MUST take a QB at 1 or 12. Then, you have those who say if Cleveland is smart, which they’ve proven otherwise since their return in 1999, they’ll take the best player available with every pick.
So, this brings me to the national and local guys that insist that Cleveland must take a QB at 1 or 12, just to take a QB.
Right now, I have two different websites I’m currently looking at that rate each player, regardless of their position. One site, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is ranked as the 12th best player. Quarterback DeShaun Watson is ranked 16th. I disagree with that list. Just to give you an idea of the players ranked behind Watson, here are some names. Wide receiver Mike Williams (Clemson), defensive end Taco Charlton (Michigan), cornerback Sidney Jones (Washington), running back Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (Alabama). And, just for the record, they have Leonard Fournette (running back, LSU) ranked behind Trubisky.
Now, on the other site, they have Mitchell Trubisky as the only quarterback ranked in the first round. I feel that this site is more accurate. I still don’t consider Trubisky as a first-round QB, but having him, or any of the other quarterbacks ranked in the top 15 or so is crazy in my opinion.
This draft is so enriched with both offensive and defensive players. Not quarterbacks.
If you’re a team that needs a lot of improvement on the defensive side of the ball, this is a draft for you. If you’re a team that needs to upgrade at RB, TE, or WR, this is a draft for you. Not so much with offensive linemen and quarterbacks.
It’s all but a given, at this point, that the Browns will take Myles Garrett and 1. After that, they need to take the best player available. Now, of course what teams do in free-agency will dictate how the draft shakes out.
I just feel that this is a great chance for Cleveland to improve a defense that was ranked in the bottom three of worst defenses in the NFL. People continue to say, you have to have a championship QB to make a run at the NFL title, there are some exceptions. Well, I’m a firm believer that you have to take what the draft gives you. You can’t go reaching for something that might not be there. And I don’t think that a franchise changing quarterback is in this draft. I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again. But, I’d rather be just a QB away from making a deep playoff run, than where Cleveland is at right now.
There are a lot of reports out right now that say Buffalo isn’t likely to keep QB Tyrod Taylor. So, naturally, because his QB coach is now with the Browns, Tyrod Taylor is likely to end in Cleveland. Here’s the sad part. It would, but wouldn’t be an upgrade for the Browns right now. Why would it be an upgrade for the Browns quarterback situation? Taylor is less injury prone than Griffin. Taylor also might help you win a few more games than Griffin. Why would it be a downgrade? Head coach Hue Jackson invested so much time trying to help Griffin improve as a quarterback last year. Yes, I know, that’s something that might seem a little stupid, but it’s true. Also, keep this in mind, Robert Griffin knows Hue’s offense now and has played with some of the wide receivers already which would take away some of the learning curve. Things like timing routes with receiver targets, receiving snaps from the same centers. Stuff along those lines. Tyrod would have to learn the offense and deal with all of the things I just mentioned. By no means am I saying that Griffin is the quarterback of the future. Far from it, but Taylor isn’t the answer either.
You build the team up first, then once you see a quarterback that jumps out at you that you know for sure is your guy, you do whatever it takes to go get him. Again, I’d rather be 1 player away than, what seems like an entire roster away from being relevant again.
Yet, here I am, fearing that Cleveland will reach for a quarterback. They’ve done it in the past multiple times, so how am I supposed to believe that they won’t do it again.
I’m not expecting the Cleveland Browns to win 8 games next year. I’d consider 5 to 7 a reasonable amount. But, I also need to see progress. I need to see next to no blowouts. I also want to see Cleveland as one of the teams that are “In the hunt” for a wild card in the middle of the season. After that, I’d expect them to drop out. If the Browns can have their 1st pick in the first round be in the 11-15 range for 2018, that’s a good sign.
Cleveland, build up a defense that forces an offensive coordinator to lose sleep during the week because he has to game plan for so many play makers on the defensive side of the ball. Build up a defense that ranks in the top 10. A defense that might be your best offense until your offense has that guy under center. A quarterback will come and you’ll see his play on the field, and you’ll know him when you see him. That’s when you grab him.
To end this article, here is a list without what I like about them that I’d pick over a QB. I’m excluding RB’s because I need to see how well Duke Johnson and Crowell can be next year behind, hopefully, an improved O-line.
- Myles Garrett (DE)
- Jonathan Allen(DT)
- Jamal Adams (S)
- Solomon Thomas (DE)
- Malik Hooker (S)
- Marshon Lattimore (CB)
- J. Howard (TE)
- Teez Tabor (CB)
- Corey Davis (WR)
- Sidney Jones (CB)
- David Njoku (TE)
- Mike Williams (WR)
- John Ross (WR)
- Derek Barnett (DE)
I’m pretty sure you get the idea.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis