Many people call the period between the college all-star games and the actual NFL draft the silly season because of all the rumors and draft speculation that is posted and talked about.
In Cleveland, the silly season usually manifests itself in many media members talking about getting a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And if you think the Browns should not take a QB with their first pick, which this year happens to be the first overall choice, then you are supposedly kidding yourself because the Browns will never win unless they get the franchise signal caller.
So, we would like to debunk a few myths.
First, we would not pick a QB with the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but there is no question the Browns need a quarterback. Our premise is the same as it has always been, if you have the first pick, you should take the consensus best player, which by all accounts is Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett.
By the way, Cleveland has needed a pass rusher for virtually 50 years. So, you can’t go wrong there.
Second, while it is true that outside of Houston, all the teams that made the playoffs had very good passers, having a good QB doesn’t get you into the playoffs.
New Orleans has Drew Brees, did they get in? What about the Giants, who have Eli Manning? The Chargers have Philip Rivers, surely they got in, right?
The answer in every case is no.
Again, we aren’t saying having a very good quarterback isn’t important, we are simply saying that you need to build around the guy too. So, you need to have other good players besides a QB to win in the NFL.
The most ridiculous argument we hear is that if the Browns really like a certain player, then they should just draft him first overall. They forget that the draft is like a game. You judge where a player may be available, and take him as close as you can to that pick.
We are sure that the Patriots liked something about Tom Brady, otherwise they wouldn’t have selected him at all, but they didn’t take him with their first round pick.
Besides, the Browns have a ton of draft picks to move up if they get nervous about the player they want being chosen.
For example, we happen to like Deshaun Watson from the national champion Clemson Tigers as a QB. No one has him being the first overall pick, so it would be a mistake to take him there.
All you are doing is pushing good players down to the better teams.
Maybe Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson can take him at #12, we would be alright with that. But if they see or hear a team at #9 or #10 is interested, they have the picks to move up to #7 or #8 to select him.
And they would still have the consensus best player coming into the NFL this spring.
Perhaps their intel says Watson would be taken at around #25. Then, they could take the best player on their board at #12, and then move up from the first pick in the second round to grab Watson at let’s say, #23.
You just don’t go crazy and pick the 25th best player in the draft with the first overall pick because you need a quarterback. That’s a recipe for staying mediocre.
How many teams move up to a spot early in the draft to get a top notch quarterback anyway?
We know that Brady with a sixth round choice. The Steelers got Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick, they didn’t trade up.
Matt Ryan was the third overall pick, but Atlanta didn’t trade up for him. And the fourth team in the conference championships, Green Bay, got Aaron Rodgers because he famously fell to them in the draft.
The Redskins gave up a king’s ransom to get Robert Griffin III in 2012. How did that work out for them? The Rams and Eagles moved up to get Jared Goff and Carson Wentz last year.
The jury is still out.
The Vikings (Christian Ponder), the Jaguars (Blaine Gabbert) and the Bills (E. J. Manuel) all reached for quarterbacks in recent years, trying to get “the guy”. How has that worked out?
We have every expectation that the Browns’ front office will upgrade the quarterback position by the end of the NFL draft, whether by taking a guy they really like, or trading for a young, up and coming player, like Jimmy Garoppolo.
They don’t need to use the first overall pick to do it. In fact, in this year’s draft, it would be the dumbest thing they could do.