With Baker Mayfield potentially out of favor with the front office, the Cleveland Browns may replace him with a pick from the 2022 draft. Here are 7 potential replacements.
Love him or hate him, the Browns haven’t decided on him. Without a clear vote of confidence from the team on his future, it is a good bet the Browns are looking at the 2022 NFL Draft for a potential replacement.
When looking at college quarterbacks, it’s important for a team to draft for its system. Not every quarterback is a good fit for what the Browns do in their outside zone scheme. Some are a great fit. My rankings are based each the player’s potential fit in the Browns version of the outside zone scheme.
Baker Mayfield replacement No. 7: Sam Howell, University of North Carolina
The University of North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell comes it at No. 7. Maybe I am a little gun shy on UNC quarterbacks after the last quarterback that came out, i.e. Mitchell Trubisky. But Sam Howell does not seem to have what it takes to lead the Browns offense.
Howell is primarily a running quarterback. His game is based on making one or two reads then bolting out the pocket to make a play.
Some of these runs are designed. But most seem to be him trying to make a play out of structure when he perceives the play to have broken down.
Howell is a good leader on the field. His team seems to rally around him. He has good arm strength. His accuracy is good short but struggles long.
But he rarely reads through his progression before taking off. He has happy feet in the pocket. And like most college quarterbacks, he has very little pocket awareness panicking when defenders get near him (usually leading to a run).
A running quarterback who runs a 5.07 40-yard dash is unlikely to succeed in the NFL. He is not ready to run the complex outside zone offense as he usually makes one read then takes off. It will take him multiple seasons to learn to read NFL defenses, just ask Trubisky.
The Browns need a backup who can learn during the season. They do not have the time to take on a long-term project. He will not be able to be productive with his feet while learning the NFL. Browns should take a hard pass on Howell.
Howell has the fact that he played in a power 5 conference going for him. The next guy on the list doesn’t even have that.