Jared Goff: I want to be the future of a franchise
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns may be looking at Cal quarterback Jared Goff in the 2016 NFL Draft and Goff is ready for the challenge.
The Cleveland Browns have selected a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft seven times since entering the league in 1950.
Starting with Harry Agganis in 1952 and continuing through Johnny Manziel in 2014, the Browns have swung and missed each and every time they’ve tried to find a franchise player at what is arguably the game’s most-important position.
The Browns hold the No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, and unless the Tennessee Titans trade out of the No. 1 spot the Browns should have their pick of the three quarterbacks expected to go in the first round: Cal’s Jared Goff, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz.
Related: Cleveland Browns draft profile: Jared Goff
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Of the three, Goff is the quarterback that has been linked to the Browns the most in various mock drafts. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Goff is considered by many to be the top quarterback available after three years as a starter for the Bears.
This past season, Goff completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 4,247 yards, while throwing 37 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions (although five of those interceptions came in the game against Utah.)
He followed that up by throwing for six touchdowns and 467 yards against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl, leading Cal to its first bowl game win since 2008. Goff was the first true freshman quarterback in Cal history to start a season opener, and finished his collegiate career completing 977 passes for 12,195 yards and 96 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 144.
It was the culmination of a journey where Goff led the Bears from a 1-11 record as a freshman to a bowl game win, improving his passing numbers along the way.
The progression, and Goff’s confidence, stood out to Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King, who dropped a note about Goff into his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column after speaking briefly with the quarterback:
"“I think my accuracy is as good as it gets at this level,” Goff said. “I think my pocket presence and my ability to extend plays speak for themselves. I’m confident I’ll be the best quarterback in the draft.”"
"Now for the “C” question: How about the specter of getting selected by Cleveland, which has the second overall pick? Cleveland’s the place quarterbacks go to die. “I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I’m excited about it. Whatever team I go to, I’ll be excited to go. I want to be the future of a franchise. I think I can be a guy who can make an impact right away.”"
While it may lack the social media panache of “let’s wreck this league,” having a potential top draft pick want to be the “future of the franchise” rather than anything else is a comforting thought. If the Browns decide to go back to the quarterback well again in the first round, they need to be sure that in addition to talent they are selecting a player who can bring a sense of maturity and professionalism to the position.
Browns fans will have an opportunity to check out Goff and the rest of the potential quarterback crop at the NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 23-29.