It is becoming an annual rite of passage for football fans in Cleveland, Ohio.
The season ends, and the Cleveland Browns are looking at the quarterbacks who are entering the NFL from the college ranks, and the national pundits are talking about the Browns moving up in the draft to take yet another signal caller.
Last season, GM Ray Farmer resisted the temptation to use the fourth overall pick to take a passer, but succumbed to pressure from around the city to find one and moved up to pick Johnny Manziel with the 22nd choice.
Now, NFL insiders are saying that Farmer is enamored with another Heisman Trophy winner, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, and the Browns are looking to move up to get him.
Adding fuel to the flames is the man who appears to be Cleveland’s next quarterback coach, Kevin O’Connell, is currently working with Mariota, preparing him for his personal workouts with pro teams.
While the Browns certainly have to upgrade the quarterback position, we aren’t sure that picking another guy out of college is the answer, particularly this year.
Most scouts say the most talented passer coming out this year is Jameis Winston from Florida State. However, Winston has a lot of baggage and after coming off the Manziel circus, do the Browns want to deal with that again?
Mariota has the size, but is he ready to step in and play at the NFL level? His offensive system at Oregon was gimmicky, trying to catch the defense off guard by running plays quickly. That’s not going to happen at the professional level.
And this isn’t to say we wouldn’t take either guy. If one or both fell to the Browns’ first pick at #12 overall, or even further to #19, you would have to think about drafting either player, but we would also bring in a veteran, not necessarily Brian Hoyer, to compete for the job.
We just wouldn’t sacrifice a draft pick, or perhaps multiple choices to move up in the selection process to get either.
Why? Because even though quarterback is a most important position, it’s not the only hole the Cleveland Browns have to fill.
They could use a wide receiver. They could use another offensive lineman. They could use defensive line depth and another linebacker as well.
If a quality player is available at one of those positions, Farmer should use the picks he has to fill one of those spots. Don’t reach for a quarterback yet again.
We say that because in our opinion there aren’t any signal callers available who are worth the price of trading an extra high draft choice. So, basically you would be expending the pick you traded for plus another pick, probably in the first three rounds of the draft.
If we thought either Winston or Mariota was an Andrew Luck type player, then the Browns should do what they have to, but that’s not the case.
So, Farmer and the front office should simply sit tight, and draft the best player available, and continue to build a strong team around whoever plays QB when the regular season starts in September.
It’s about time the Browns learn from their mistakes.