The Cleveland Browns have a decision to make at the top of the 2017 NFL Draft, and apparently they have not decided what to do. Jason La Canfora claims the team’s coaches want Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett, while the front office and owner want a quarterback, specifically North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky. Wait, the Browns are thinking of taking a developmental quarterback in the first round? What could possibly go wrong?
Trubisky made just 13 starts at the college level and is going to need time to develop. He has a good arm, is decently accurate and can move, which is why he’s attractive. That said, his mechanics need a lot of work, he overuses his arm on throws while not getting his legs into them, and his deep balls flutter and lose steam. So he’s a project, not a guy who could step in and win at the NFL level immediately.
Since 2007, the Browns have taken three quarterback in the first round of the draft. They’ve all been terrible. Brady Quinn (2007), Brandon Weeden (2012) and Johnny Manziel (2014) were all selected with the 22nd pick in their respective drafts. Those three combined played 51 games for Cleveland, as a group they completed 55.1 percent of their passes for an average of 170.4 yards per game, with 40 touchdowns and 42 interceptions. Yeesh.
I know, I know it’s a different regime in Cleveland and the Browns are trying to be a different organization from top to bottom. But, let’s be real, they’re still the Browns. With the first pick they have to take Garrett. They just have to. He’s by far the consensus top player in this year’s draft. Then with the 12th pick they could easily plug one of the other massive holes on their roster instead of reaching for a developmental signal-caller.
In any other year, Trubisky would be a fringe first-rounder. But this is an insanely weak quarterback class and his stock has been inflated as a result. I’m not saying he can’t wind up being a successful quarterback in the NFL, he’s just not worth the 12th pick and certainly not close to worthy of going No. 1.
Given the Browns’ history, they should avoid taking a quarterback in the first round at all costs this year.