Although the Cleveland Browns have their franchise man in Baker Mayfield, they need to get a rookie quarterback in 2019.
While 2018 showed considerable improvement from the last decade for the Cleveland Browns, the 2019 off-season will be very important to ensure they take the next step forward and not a step backwards. Several key players need to be resigned, and John Dorsey and new head coach Freddie Kitchens will need to scour free agency and scout rookies to ensure continued success.
While several pending free agents are currently under works of being re-signed by the Browns, such as tackle Greg Robinson and wide receviers Breshard Perriman and Rashard Higgins, there is one hole on the roster that needs to be filled — the backup quarterback role.
Baker Mayfield has the starting job locked down, but a young rookie as backup wouldn’t be a bad idea to have. With Tyrod Taylor on his way out of town, the only other quarterback on the roster under contract is Drew Stanton, who only dressed for one game in 2018.
Stanton being the only backup option in Cleveland is a nightmare situation. While Cleveland can likely find a serviceable backup in free agency, they would be smart to move on from Stanton and replace him with a rookie to develop on their own. Stanton not dressing is just a waste of a spot on the 53 man roster, and if they wanted to keep him around the organization to help mentor Baker Mayfield, who has high praise and likes Drew Stanton, then they can make room on the coaching staff for him to be there.
It’s always a good idea to get a young rookie to try and develop them within your system. The Browns signed undrafted free agent Brogan Roback from Eastern Michigan in 2018, and he is now on the Steelers roster, proving that he may be around in this league for a few more years. A good potential signing could be Washington’s Jake Browning or Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham. Both quarterbacks have enough talent to be a 7th round pick or be picked up as an undrafted free agent.
Drafting a late round project player or signing an undrafted free agent quarterback would be smart on the part of Kitchens and Dorsey this offseason. It’s never a bad idea to try and develop players, even at positions where you have your presumed starter for the next decade.
Not only can it help you out in an emergency situation, but it also proves to other coaches and players that you are dedicated and good at your craft. That in turn can open up endless possibilities for future assistants or players wanting to join your team.