Here we are, about two weeks before the NFL draft. And here are the Cleveland Browns, 1-15 last season, holding the top overall pick.
There is a consensus about which player they should take – defensive end Myles Garrett. He’s considered not only a top talent but a safe pick. No character risk, not much downside. The Browns could use that after some of their empty-headed decisions of recent years, not the least of which was quarterback Johnny Manziel.
So what is the word on the Browns? They may be letting their quarterback hunger shred their common sense. Which would be natural, because everyone needs a quarterback and the Browns are the Browns (see 1-15).
The shiny object now catching their eye is Mitchell Trubisky, a quarterback who grew up in Mentor, Ohio and started one season at North Carolina. Yes, he threw 30 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions in that one season, but it’s one season.
Quarterbacks take time to develop. Raw quarterbacks take longer. And it is not as if the Browns don’t have needs on the defensive side. They were 31st in total defense in a 32- team league last season. They gave up nearly 4,000 yards passing; the top-rated Houston Texans gave up a total of 4,821 yards. So, yeah, Garrett could step in and play right away.
“Split opinions” is the word now about the Browns’ front office. Not sure we’re completely buying that here. It’s that time when teams send out all sorts of false signals about their draft intentions. But we don’t know if the Browns are that smart (see 1-15).
The Browns also hold the 12th pick in the first round. They can still get a quarterback there. Assuming they like Trubisky enough and that other teams with a need, like the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets, don’t get to him first.
The Browns’ recent history is littered with quarterback failures. Maybe it’s time to go another way. Build a sound defense, get some other parts first, then plug in a young quarterback.