I think it is safe to say that there is one question in particular more than any others surrounding the Cleveland Browns that is paramount above all others, and the very simple reason for that is because it is a recurring question that we are obliged to ask every other year, it seems.
That question is, will they draft a quarterback? And this year, they will have the opportunity to draft one of the two top quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class, since they hold the second-overall selection, behind the Rams, who, of course, recently moved up 14 spots in order to gain that territory.
It goes without saying that the Rams made that move in order to assure that they are able to land the player that they want, even if reports are that they are currently debating which player that is, and will continue to do so leading up to the draft, between quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, one of whom figures to be the draft’s first selection.
That leaves the ‘loser’ left over for the Browns to take—if they so choose. It goes without saying that a team in position to make the second selection in a draft, which did not acquire that position via trade, is likely to have a number of roster needs, and that there will be a number of tempting candidates to choose from.
But it is virtually indisputable that there is no position more essential to the success or failure of a football team than the quarterback position, and it is the one position more than any other that the Browns have lacked stability, more or less since they returned to the league in 1999.
Naturally, it will all come down to how the Browns view Goff and Wentz, their two likely targets at the quarterback position, and how they stand relative to some of the other headline players that are likely to go in the top five picks of the draft.
Which quarterback the Rams end up taking could also determine whether or not the Browns take one, provided that their evaluations of the two are substantially different and that the one they valued higher is no longer available.
It has to be noted, however, that they are due for a quarterback based on recent history, having done so every other year for the past several years. Of course, it was Johnny Manziel in 2014, who has already been released. In 2012, it was Brandon Weeden. Colt McCoy, a third-round pick, was the guy in 2010, and back in 2007, it was Brady Quinn.
It is true that they did go out and sign Robert Griffin III during this offseason, but it is also true that Griffin did not even play last season, and that he has not played quality football in years. It is equally true that they have the second-overall pick, their highest since the 2000 draft.
It is true that the Browns are obviously more than a quarterback away from turning things around, but it is also true that these turnarounds tend to start with having the quarterback fall into place. If the front office in Cleveland believes that Wentz or Goff are that guy to lead the turnaround, they have no choice but to draft him.