Cleveland Browns: Signing Drew Stanton changes nothing

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Drew Stanton
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Drew Stanton /

Drew Stanton has been a Cleveland Brown for less than 24 hours and, as usual, there is serious overreacting. Can the draft get here, please?

The Cleveland Browns signed a backup quarterback over the weekend, and that of course has a deeper meaning.

It can’t just be that they added depth, but instead the tea leaves must be read.

Twitter was there thankfully to help us decipher what the breaking news (editor’s note: this was not really breaking news) means.

Signing Drew Stanton means the Cleveland Browns aren’t drafting a quarterback.

Signing Drew Stanton means the Cleveland Browns aren’t drafting a quarterback with the first pick.

Make it stop! Repeat after me, Browns fans, the signing of Drew Stanton changes nothing as far as the Browns draft strategy is concerned.

The Browns will still draft a quarterback with the first overall pick. Nothing else to see here. There may still be a debate about who that quarterback is. But after a week that saw no less than owner Jimmy Haslam leading a contingent of eight Browns staffers to see Sam Darnold and Josh Allen throw a football in shorts, can anything be more clear? They are taking a quarterback with the first pick.

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The signing of Stanton means that, barring catastrophic circumstances, whoever we draft with the first overall pick will not have to play in 2018. But, more importantly, he will be a mentor to this rookie.

I know Stanton has a career completion percentage below 50 percent. He has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. Does this mean he can’t be a good mentor? Of course not. Jordan Palmer, now considered a quarterback guru, attempted only 18 passes in his six-year NFL career.

Most top talents at a position make lousy mentors. Why? Their expectations are too high. Inevitably a prospect can’t perform at the same level they do.

That’s why the players that wear the baseball cap in the NFL are typically players like Brian Hoyer and Josh McCown. Whatever their physical limitations, they understand how to teach the game to younger players and, if they had to make a spot start or two, the trains would still run on time. That’s the ceiling for Stanton, and that’s alright.

Cynics will point out that this is a game plan the Browns have tried before. In 2010.

Colt McCoy was supposed to ride the pines while Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace took the snaps. That was the year of the high ankle sprain. Two years ago, the duo of RGIII and Josh McCown were supposed to keep Cody Kessler from taking the field. Again injuries changed the plan. But like the perpetual search for a quarterback, the Browns have to keep swinging.

Next: Staff predictions for the first and fourth picks

Drew Stanton is a (relatively) low-cost insurance policy that demonstrates that the current front office understands two things about their soon-to-be number one draft choice. First, they are not ready to play and second, they need to have as much time as possible to develop. This is a good thing, Browns fans. Certainly not splashy, but solid.