Daily Dawg Tags: One day closer to the draft


The Cleveland Browns have a lot of work to do when it comes to decided which quarterback they should select in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 2018 NFL Draft is still a few months away, but for all intents and purposes the Cleveland Browns are on the clock.

The Browns hold five selections in the first two rounds of the draft, including the No. 1 and No. 4 overall selection, so the next few months are going to be important ones for general manager John Dorsey and the team’s scouts.

With the college bowl season now down to its final game, the Browns now have all the game tape there is to study on the group of quarterbacks the team will be considering with that top pick.

What the Browns, and the one-game Twitter scouts, saw was a bit of a mixed bag from the candidates who will be in consideration for the role of the latest quarterback savior:

  • Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, rumored to be the apple of Dorsey’s eye, was just 11-of-19 for 154 yards in the Cowboys’ Potato Bowl win over Central Michigan, although he did throw three touchdown passes.
  • UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen sat out the Bruins’ Cactus Bowl date with Kansas State as he is still dealing with a concussion. Rosen last played on Nov. 24 against Cal, but still finished the season with career highs in completion percentage (62.6), yards (3,756) and touchdowns (26). He has also intimated that he does not want to play for the Browns, but that can all change.
  • USC quarterback Sam Darnold did not leave a very good impression in the Trojans’ Cotton Bowl loss to Ohio State. Darnold, who looked unprepared for the next level, finished 26-of-45 for 356 yards, but threw an interception and could only lead USC to seven points.
  • Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was his usual self in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State, combining for 329 passing and rushing yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw four interceptions and completed just 41.9 percent of his passes.
  • Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield put on a show in the first half of Monday’s Roe Bowl against Georgia with 220 passing yards while leading the Sooners to a 31-17 lead. But he finished the game with just 287 passing yards and looked off during Oklahoma’s two possessions in the overtime loss.

Darnold, Jackson and Rosen have all yet to declare for the draft, so the next big date to keep an eye on is Jan. 15, which is the deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft. Jackson and Rosen seem likely to come out, while Darnold could (and probably should) return to USC for another season.

Dorsey has been sold to Browns fans as a “football man” who knows how to spot talent.

We’ll start to find out how true that is pretty early on the first night of the draft.

Cleveland Browns news:

Browns continue to operate in the bizarro world

The Cleveland Browns continue to exist in their own bizarre version of the NFL, which is going to become even more evident in the coming months.

Hue Jackson won’t admit it, but many coaches would have avoided 0-16 (cleveland.com)

"What exactly, Hue, did you do well? Throw out the 0-16 record and every time Hue Jackson himself or owner Jimmy Haslam has pointed to the Browns playing hard as a sign of coaching acumen. Coaches in a rebuild like this are more than only their record. Coaches at all times are more than the effort police. What did Hue Jackson do to help the Browns win this year? What did Jackson do to help the Browns avoid the second 0-16 season in NFL history?"

Rattling off 16 reasons for 0-16 (ohio.com)

"Countless factors led the Browns to become just the second team in NFL history to experience the embarrassment of finishing a season 0-16. Off the top of my head, here are 16 of them."

Jason McCourty says players were “bugged” by season-long comments about lack of talent (Chronicle Telegram)

"Hue Jackson said the stigma of only the second 0-16 season in NFL history will force the Browns to sell themselves. To fans. To potential draft picks. To free agents. The players in the Browns locker room must be included on the recruitment list. As they cleaned out their lockers a day after the 28-24 season-ending loss to the Steelers, resentment lingered from season-long criticism of the roster by Jackson and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. New general manager John Dorsey piled on when he said the previous regime didn’t get enough “real players.”"

Browns sign eight players to reserve/futures list (clevelandbrowns.com)

"The Cleveland Browns signed eight players to the reserve/futures list on Monday."

NFL news:

2017 NFL playoff primer: Bracket, schedule, Super Bowl paths, more (ESPN)

"We have arrived, at long last, upon the NFL postseason. This is lousy news for 20 teams but wonderful news for 12. And if you’re a fan of one of those 12, this right here is the document you want to clip and save — or whatever the 2018 internet equivalent of that might be. ESPN’s 2018 playoff primer breaks down each team’s path, looks at its chances and tells you everything you need to know about what your team must do to reach Super Bowl LII next month in Minneapolis. We hope you find it enjoyable and educational."

Bruce Arians retires after five seasons with Arizona (NFL.com)

"The brilliant and unusual career of Bruce Arians has come to an end. The Arizona Cardinals coach announced his retirement from coaching during a tearful, emotional news conference Monday."

Gruden to Raiders makes sense this time (Mercury News)

"This time it feels different. Yours truly has been a wet blanket when it comes to Jon Gruden rumors. I dispelled the “Grumors” in 2012 when the Raiders ultimately hired Dennis Allen. I did it again in 2014 when they brought in Jack Del Rio. But Sunday, when Del Rio announced he’d been fired, the impossible suddenly seemed inevitable. Jon Gruden is coming back."