The job just became simpler for the Browns decision makers.
I didn’t say easier, I said simpler.
With the trade by the Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans for the Rams to move all the way from No. 15 in the NFL Draft to the top spot, there is no question the Rams have their eyes set on taking a quarterback.
For all the draft naysayers that have said there isn’t a quarterback in this draft worthy of being the top one or two picks.
The Rams beg to differ.
They gave up a king’s ransom to make the move but with the franchise starting up again in Los Angeles, the Rams wanted to make a splash.
The question is who do they favor—Jared Goff or Carson Wentz?
There have been reports coming out from both sides stating the case that it could be either one. With the Rams settled now at No. 1 there is little reason for them to not make their intentions known, other than for keeping Goff or Wentz in the dark. With the most recent collective bargaining agreement in the NFL, there is not a lot of room in rookie contract negotiations, thus I expect the Rams intentions will be known before draft day.
If the Browns truly like Goff and Wentz and had trouble deciding between the two, the decision has been taken out of their hands. They simply take the one that is left.
There have been reports that Hue Jackson and Pep Hamilton favor Goff over Wentz and if the prevailing reports are true—that the Rams are planning on taking Wentz—the Browns choice will be made easy.
However, Mike Silver said on the NFL Network release of the schedule show that the Rams were likely going to take Goff.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher appeared on the show and declined to name who the Rams would select, but said they have a pretty good idea who they will select.
The biggest decision the Browns are faced with now in the two weeks leading up to the draft on April 28 is whether to take one of the offers from another team to trade down from their second pick or stay at two and take Goff or Wentz. If the Browns decide to trade down they would be passing up their first legitimate chance since 1999 to land a possible franchise quarterback. Sure, quarterbacks can be found anywhere in the draft but the percentages are much higher of striking gold when the player is taken at the top of the draft.
If the Rams draft Goff instead of Wentz, the Browns can still draft Wentz. I like both of them and think either one can be the quarterback the Browns can build around. If they choose to trade down, they will be drafting the second-tier quarterbacks similar to when they drafted Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden or Johnny Manziel later in the first-round or top of the second.
I personally am gun shy of the “trade down for a lot of picks” method. I’ve seen too many times when the Browns had a high pick and opted to trade down for multiple picks only to pass a blue-chip player for players that never had an impact, i.e. (Julio Jones for Phil Taylor, Greg Little, Owen Marecic and Brandon Weeden comes to mind).
The signing of Robert Griffin III should not cause the Browns to not draft a potential franchise quarterback. They are rebuilding and starting over with a new coach and front office and they are not going anywhere until they find their quarterback.
The decision is now simpler for the Browns, they just have to get it right.