Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, RGIII, emergency QB Terrell Pryor. It doesn’t matter who is at quarterback for this team, no one is pulling out a win for this team in its current state.
Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Pat Mahomes, Luke Falk. It doesn’t matter who the Browns draft at quarterback in 2017, no on is pulling out a win for this team in its current state.
That being said, it looks very likely that the Cleveland Browns will have the number 1 overall draft pick next year, along with a 9-12 pick from Philly, as the Eagles continue to look worse week in and week out. Early buzz is indicating that the Browns would like an early round quarterback and are quite high on North Carolina senior Mitch Trubisky.
Being close personal friends with a UNC lover has led me to watch a lot of Trubisky this year and I consider myself a fan. He can throw the ball from the pocket, has great accuracy and vision, and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He threw 28 TDs to only 4 INTs this year. He’s not flashy, but he can get the job done. None of that matters though. He’s not going to win games for the Browns the way they look now.
We’re talking about the 31st ranked offense and the 31st ranked defense in the NFL. No quarterback is erasing that singlehandedly.
Two first round picks. Two second round picks. So what should the Browns do before getting a QB?
Pick 1 (or 2, semi possibly) - DL, Pass Rush
Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M is a shoe in for a quit exit off the draft board. He was hurt for a good part of this college season but still managed 8.5 sacks, along with 32 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. However, if you look back at his previous fully healthy season, he had 11.5 sacks, an INT, and 5 forced fumbles. The 20-year old is a monster when it comes to the pass rush. Any defense is going to help this Browns team, especially one that doesn’t have strong linemen.
Pick 9-12 (from Eagles) - Running Back
This is going to be an extremely strong draft for running backs. Between Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, LSU’s Leonard Fournette, and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, the Browns should take a good look at their running back situation and utilize a pick on one of these guys. That is, assuming any of them are still on the board.
When you look at Cleveland back situation, it’s not great. The team is hopeful on 23-year old Isaiah Crowell, who’s averaging 4.17 yards per carry, but only has two games with over 80 yards rushing. Part of that is obviously the fact that the Browns are almost always playing from behind, but you have to wonder if Crowell is a long-term option when guys like Cook and Fournette are coming out of college.
Pick 33 - Offensive Tackle
If the Browns draft a RB, or keep the one you have, there’s no denying that they need a better offensive line. Joe Thomas is probably a Hall of Famer and has never missed a game, while also being the leader of the offensive line, so the Browns are set there. I’m looking at you, Austin Pasztor. He’s been terrible all season, unable to set the edge or block anyone so that the running game can get going.
In comes Alabama’s Cam Robinson. A three-year starter, Robinson has been a major part of Alabama’s run game. He’s been on the line for an amazing 27 100-yard rushing games and has done so in the SEC, arguably the best conference in the country. He’s been a huge factor in 1st year starter Damien Harris’ 900-plus yard season, along with QB Jalen Hurts’ 840 yards rushing.
Pick 50 (via Titans) - Quarterback
I have huge doubts that any quarterback outside of DeShaun Watson will end up going in the 1st round of the draft. Once we’ve seen them in the Combine, I think teams will start to realize that the QB class isn’t quite as deep as last year, and signal callers will fall a bit.
That’s why I think the Browns should wait until pick 50. They’ll miss Watson, they may miss Mitch Trubisky, but there will be solid choices available. Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes (if he declares) would be a solid pick to roll the dice on. He’s thrown for 5052 yards and 41 TDs to just 10 INTs this season. He’s an accurate pocket passer and game manager, someone who can stay calm and pick up blitzes. And blitzes are certainly something he’ll have to look forward to, considering the Browns’ offensive line issues.
Washington State’s Luke Falk (4204 yards, 37 TDs) is another great option. He’s led State to a fantastic season and is one of the most accurate QBs in the nation, with a 71.0 percent completion rate in 2016.
Jumping on a QB in the 1st round has clearly not worked for the Browns as of late. With a weaker class than 2016, it’s important that Cleveland doesn’t bet the farm on someone that isn’t truly a 1st rounder. With so many other positions to sure up, pick 50 is the sweet spot for this team taking a QB.