Can a rookie QB take the Browns to the playoffs in 2016?
A quarterback drafted by the Cleveland Browns will face immense pressure to make team successful in 2016.
Fans of the Cleveland Browns currently find themselves in a painful state of limbo.
After another forgettable season, the focus is on a former draft pick turned major bust, and a bust of a team legend outside the gates of FirstEnergy Stadium.
The team may add some players to the roster through free agency before the 2016 NFL Draft, but a quarterback is what fans are most interested in acquiring. That is, a quarterback who will give the Browns a shot to make the playoffs in 2016.
The current candidates include Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch, and Jared Goff, with Goff being the current favorite to be taken second overall in the draft.
These three will be analyzed more closely than ever before in the next two months, but Browns fans may remain wary of the hype that comes with any name of a drafted player.
It is unfair to compare any of those three with Johnny Manziel or Brandon Weeden, but recent history has shown that the Browns have a problem with evaluating quarterbacks.
Both of those picks were made by different individuals than those currently in charge, but the franchise is still the same.
But let’s go ahead and say the Browns do select one of the three quarterbacks named just a few paragraphs above.
No matter who is selected, he will likely come into the season as the starting quarterback. Josh McCown is a valuable asset to the offense, but more as a mentor off the field than a player on the field.
The rookie quarterback will have great guidance from McCown, but meshing with the current players on offense will be the true test.
The receivers are a sub par group based on normal NFL standards, but a returning Josh Gordon could help bring some stability to a perpetually unstable offense.
The rookie QB will also have the benefit of Hue Jackson being the head coach, which is a major upgrade, at least on paper, over those who have had the job in the past few years.
Jackson will give the team a great shot to turn things around, but it will come down to great quarterback play for the team to reach the playoffs.
Recent history says things will turn south fast, but that is partially due to the deserved pessimism directed toward the Browns as a franchise. Fans may want to play it safe and draft a lineman who can help bolster the line on either side of the ball, but the only way to get better is to take a chance on a player who may help the team.
If the player turns out to be a bust, there’s always next year.