Can’t shake the feeling
As we inch closer to the National Football League’s annual college draft later this month, I have a feeling the Browns are on the verge of making yet another unwise move with regard to the position of quarterback.
The worst move they can make in this draft is to select a quarterback in the first round. And I can’t shake the notion that is exactly what they’ll do with their second first-round pick at No. 12.
Why? Because they are the Cleveland Browns, a franchise that exists with black clouds hovering above it. It is a franchise that almost always makes mistakes in crucial situations.
And because this team is the real-life version of Murphy’s Law. If there is a mistake (or mistakes) to be made, the Browns somehow will find a way to make them.
The only way they can escape the ignominy of making that mistake this year is if all three quarterbacks given first-round grades are off the board when the 12th pick rolls around.
Unless they are playing the smoke-and-mirror game, saying one thing and thinking something entirely different, the Browns are heading in a direction that will land the quarterback for the foreseeable future.
To be fair, it is a given this team needs a quarterback on whom to hang its future fortunes. There is absolutely no argument there.
But none of the top three quarterbacks this year – Deshaun Watson, Mitch (Mitchell) Trubisky and DeShone Kizer – are looked upon as franchise quarterbacks. They represent a relatively weak class at the position.
Next year’s class will be much stronger with the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Mason Rudolph and Josh Rosen heading it. If any of those four were in this year’s draft, they would push the aforementioned trio down the list.
Sometimes, it’s best to wait a year and put yourself in a position to take the right quarterback when he comes along. That is clearly the case this year, a year in which the Browns would be best concerned with strengthening all other areas on the team – and there are quite a few – before addressing the most important one.
This franchise has slogged around the NFL for the last 18 seasons, doing it the wrong way just about every one of those seasons. The bottom line more than proves that. It’s now time to do it the right way.
One additional bad season won’t make that much of a difference as long as the end justifies the means. In this case, enduring one more awful season and taking advantage of a strong quarterbacks class justifies those means.
I would much rather see a Darnold or an Allen or a Rosen in Seal Brown and Orange than any of the three big names that have been bandied about this year.
If Hue Jackson is, indeed, the quarterback whisperer we have been led to believe, that luster will dull if he champions Trubisky, Watson or Kizer and strongly lobbies for their selection. That would indicate desperation on his part and an unwillingness to suffer through another gawd-awful season in Cleveland.
About the worst scenario for the 2017 season is the Browns improve to the point where they will win just enough games – as many, maybe, as four or five – and play themselves out of the opportunity to select a player who has a better chance to become their quarterback of the future than what awaits three weeks from today.