The NFL Draft provides the opportunity for hope. For a Browns organization that has very little reason for hope, the NFL Draft is our Super Bowl. A sad statement indeed.
For most fans, something feels different this year. The team hired Hue Jackson as their head coach. Not their 5th choice. Not a coach that no one else was sniffing at. The Browns hired their #1 choice. The Browns hired a coach that the Giants, Eagles and 49ers were all interested in.
The team also brought in Paul DePodesta who has been successful in pro sports already to help organize the team and keep them moving in the right, strategic direction.
With the #2 overall pick, the Browns have their highest draft selection since drafting #1 overall the first two years of their return to the league. The last time the Browns drafted #2 the selected DB Eric Turner. While Tim Couch and Courtney Brown didn't work out as #1 picks, Turner was a stud in his time. The Browns also have the 32nd pick they could use on a QB but it will limited their options at the position.
The Browns find themselves in a place to draft a dynamic player for their franchise. After trading down from #4 and selecting Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel two years ago and then drafting Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving, the Browns still don't have one legitimate star from those 4 first round picks.
While there is reason for hope, Browns fans have a lot of reasons to be apprehensive about hoping. When you have been burnt as many times as Browns fans have been, hoping a draft pick will be impactful seems like a setup. Two years ago, most analysts thought the Browns got the best cornerback, the QB with the highest upside and extra 1st and 4th round picks.
Manziel will be cut in March and Gilbert's roster spot is tenuous as only his physical gifts giving some hope that he can "make it." The extra 1st round pick turned into Erving, who might be pushed into a starting role but who struggled in his rookie season.
That leads us back to the quarterback position, the most important position on the field. From Couch, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden and Manziel, the Browns have tried to fill the position in the Draft for years. Couch is generally considered the best of all of them. That isn't saying much.
So, with the Browns spending tons of draft picks in the past, including 4 first round picks, 2 thirds and a fourth, why is this article's title encouraging the team to invest another high draft pick on the position?
First, and very simply, the Browns best QB is currently Josh McCown. While the veteran tries really hard, gave his body up for the team and put up decent stats, he isn't a long-term hope for the team. He may not even be a short-term hope for this season for the team. Unlike other positions, it is hard to make up for a struggling QB. Houston found that out last year with former Brown Brian Hoyer.
Second, as stated, the Browns haven't drafted this high in 15 years. Unless the Titans trade down with someone coming up for a QB, the Browns will have the chance to draft their top choice at the most important position. Not since Couch have the Browns held that kind of trump card in making this decision. Much like getting their first choice in Jackson at HC, the Browns can get their first choice at QB. In a HC/QB league that would be huge. They would have to pass over talent at other positions to do so at #2 and could hope to find one at #32 or in a trade up but they would lose out on the first QB drafted.
Finally, a young QB gives the fans, players, coaching staff and front office hope moving forward. The Vikings (Teddy Bridgewater), the Titans (Marcus Mariota), the Jaguars (Blake Bortles) and the Raiders (Derek Carr) all have a hopeful perspective because of their young QBs. Those young QBs help Titans fans feel hope at 3-13 while Browns fans have none.
Those young QBs help Titans fans feel hope at 3-13 while Browns fans have none. It is why Jags fans are hopeful at 5-11. It is why Raiders fans feel hope at 7-9 and why Vikings fans have long term hope after making the Playoffs. The same hope hasn't existed for Browns fans, even after a 7-9 season last year. The lack of a developing young QB is the reason.
Browns fans have seen it all. They have watched their team try a variety of things, time after time. None have worked. Hiring Jackson and drafting a QB high is not guaranteed to work either.
The hope comes from the energy from the Jackson hire and the hope that the team can make the right choice since they will have their choice of QBs, instead of picking from leftover options. That could be a huge reason the team decides to go with QB at #2 instead of waiting till later.
Some fans, analysts and experts might have their top QB. We have heard arguments for Jared Goff, Carson Wentz (video above) and Paxton Lynch, among others. We will provide our analysis in time. For now, drafting a QB high, specifically at #2 makes the most sense for the Browns.
Do you agree that the Browns should draft a QB high, specifically at #2?