Mike Mayock: Cleveland Browns should draft a QB in first round
By Thomas Moore
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has no doubt about what the Cleveland Browns should do on draft night: select a quarterback.
The Cleveland Browns will be facing a potential franchise-changing decision when the 2016 NFL Draft opens on April 28 in Chicago.
With quarterback Josh McCown rapidly nearing the end of his career, and quarterback Johnny Manziel having no interest in working to be an NFL quarterback, the Browns have to decide what to do with the second overall selection of the first round.
Do they ride out one more year of McCown and wait to fill the position in 2017? Fill a need somewhere else on the roster – possibly with Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa?
Related: Cleveland Browns draft profile Jared Goff
Or should the Browns select a quarterback in the first round of the draft for the eighth time in franchise history, and hope that this time it will pay off?
“I think you’ve got to handle the quarterback position if you’re Cleveland, at No. 2.” – NFL Network’s Mike Mayock
Count NFL Network’s Mike Mayock as one person who believes the Browns have to go back to quarterback well in an attempt to solve a problem that has plagued the team since 1993.
Mayock discussed the situation during the NFL Network broadcast of the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday and said it is obvious what the Browns need to do once they are on the clock
“First and foremost is quarterback, so for me, that conversation is, would you pull the trigger on (North Dakota State quarterback) Carson Wentz or (Cal quarterback) Jared Goff at No. 2?,” Mayock said. “… I think you’ve got to handle the quarterback position if you’re Cleveland, at No. 2, but then how about some guys in the (Shrine) Game? A couple of big wide receivers, a center.
“There’s a chance that Alex Mack is going to leave in free agency, so you look at a guy like Graham Glasgow from Michigan in a third or fourth round. You’ll see some of these players filling in those gaps.”
Mayock’s thoughts are in line with head coach Hue Jackson, who has made it clear what he believes the Browns should do.
“I do believe that this team does need a quarterback.” – Head coach Hue Jackson
“If there’s a quarterback there at pick No. 2 or pick No. 32 that we feel is the best option for our organization and football team then we need to do it,” Jackson said in a recent interview on Bleacher Report Sirius XM radio. “I do believe that this team does need a quarterback.”
If the Browns do decide to draft a quarterback, the next question they to answer is which one to select.
Because there is no clear-cut top of the draft prospect this year, the Browns will have to decide if Goff, Wentz or Memphis’ Paxton Lynch are worth that No. 2 selection. All three most likely need some time before they take over a starting role in the NFL, but that may not scare off the Browns since they have McCown on the roster, and could presumably live with one more year of him while the new quarterback develops their game.
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Each of the three prospects have their advantages, as according to their draft profiles at NFL.com:
- While Goff is a little leaner in the lower body than teams might like, he has good size, an NFL arm, advanced pocket mobility and the field demeanor of a franchise quarterback. His accuracy and decision making will suffer from occasional lapses, but he displays the tools to become a good starting quarterback with time.
- With a body type that is as prototypical as they come and a background in reading the entire field and working through progressions, Wentz will immediately check a couple of boxes that many college quarterbacks won’t be able to check. While his arm strength is OK, he can still make all the throws and he can make them with accuracy. His ability to escape pressure and pick up first downs with his feet will be yet another check mark in his favor. Wentz is still in a developmental phase after just two years at an FBS program, but has the mental and physical building blocks of a future, franchise quarterback.
- While the hype around “dual threat” quarterbacks has subsided, Lynch possesses the size and athleticism to make NFL teams take a second look. Unlike other size/speed quarterbacks like Vince Young and Colin Kaepernick, Lynch prefers to extend passing plays with his feet rather than bolting from the pocket, but he is still likely to make plenty of plays with his feet over the long haul. Lynch shows the ability to read defenses and make smart decisions, but not yet at an NFL starting level. While he has the physical tools to start right away, a team who is willing to allow him to sit and study his craft for a year could reap maximum rewards in the future.
The Browns will have the opportunity to see Wentz up close at next week’s Senior Bowl, but will have to wait for the NFL Scouting Combine for another look at Goff and Lynch.