The Cleveland Browns face a major decision surrounding the quarterback position when they go on the clock at the 2016 NFL Draft.
With the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns have an opportunity to get an elite prospect to add to the roster.
They also have an opportunity to get a quarterback.
This year, the Browns are finally in position to get their pick of the quarterbacks in the draft. Although no quarterbacks were selected before their first pick in 2013, it was a dreadful class as first quarterback selected was EJ Manuel at No. 16 by the Buffalo Bills. Before that you have to go all the way back to 2000, when the Browns had the first pick in the draft. As they had selected Tim Couch No. 1 overall the year before, they were not looking for a quarterback the following year.
The Tennessee Titans own the No. 1 pick this year but – like the Browns in 2000 – they are a year removed from selecting Marcus Mariota. The likely pick for the Titans is Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil. At the NFL Combine, Titans general manager Jon Robinson was clear in impressing the importance in keeping Mariota upright. There has been some suggestion that they may consider Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, but the consensus is that Titans will select Tunsil to bookend right tackle Taylor Lewan.
That leaves the Browns – barring an unlikely trade down by Tennessee – as the first team on the board with a need at quarterback. This gives the Browns a difficult decision to make. There are no consensus top-level talents at quarterback like Jameis Winston and Mariota last year. There are some interesting prospects that could be good quarterbacks, but they are not seen as among the best prospects in this draft.
Popular opinion has the Browns selecting between Cal’s Jared Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz at No. 2, but if the Browns were to take the best player available it would not be Goff or Wentz. Neither are seen as among the best players in a draft considered to be shallow at the top. Wentz is a physically impressive quarterback, but questions remain about his experience and talent coming from a short career in the FCS. Goff is similarly scrutinized but for opposite reasons. He is advanced in the mental aspects of the position, but he is slender and has less than ideal arm strength.
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack and Ramsey have both been mentioned as being the best player in the draft, and both would be welcome additions to the Browns’ new defense under coordinator Ray Horton. Both are extremely athletic defenders that would add youth and speed to an aging, pedestrian defense. Ohio State’s Joey Bosa would add some much needed power to the defensive line. In addition, if the Titans did decide to take Ramsey, the Browns may even take Tunsil; he is noted as being one of the “best tackle prospects the NFL has seen in years.”
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
The Browns find themselves lacking in top-level talent, and have lost many of their best young players through the first days of free agency. As much as they need a quarterback of the future, they also need talent period. It used to be that the Browns seemed to have a relatively good base for a young quarterback, specifically as they had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. They have now lost both Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz, leaving question marks as their replacements.
As they seem to be hitting reset on the franchise, the Browns decision-makers must weigh whether they want to go best player available in the draft, or if they want to grasp the opportunity to take their pick of the quarterbacks. In the press conference announcing the firing of Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer, co-owner Jimmy Haslam stressed the importance of “talent acquisition” and also said the Browns were facing a “several-year” rebuild. There is no rush to talk themselves into a quarterback, and how much they would want a young quarterback to sink or swim with this current roster will have to be a consideration.
Taking a quarterback is always a risk, but when it includes passing on better prospects with a talent-starved roster, it adds extra pressure to the decision. In figuring out what to do with the No. 2 overall selection, the Browns must decide at what point need trumps talent.
The NFL Draft will take place April 28-30 with the Cleveland Browns holding the second overall selection. Follow Dawg Pound Daily for all the latest news on the draft as the Browns work to rebuild their roster.