The Cleveland Browns have two picks in the top 12 spots of the first round, including the first pick in the draft, barring any trades. While the Browns are at this point expected to do the most-widely-mocked and draft outside linebacker Myles Garrett, they know that their quarterback situation—going on a couple of decades—is in dire straits. Will they find their quarterback today as well?
The rumor mill has been for some time now churning out the name of Mitchell Trubisky for the Browns over the course of the past several weeks, with some reports even indicating that there was some internal dialogue over using the first-overall pick to take Trubisky.
While indications suggest otherwise, that is still a technical possibility, though I would give it considerably low odds of actually happening. Hue Jackson has been beating the Garrett drum for a while, while Sashi Brown has disputed reports of sharply contrasting views, and yesterday said that he has known the pick for the past two weeks.
Let’s assume that they take Garrett first-overall; what then? Will they take the risk of hoping that Trubisky—or perhaps another quarterback that they are actually targeting while floating out a smoke screen that they are looking at Trubisky—will be available 11 slots later?
According to reports, the Browns have placed phone calls to at least four teams who are currently slated to draft in the top eight slots of the first round, inquiring about the price of trading up. My impression is that these reports have surfaced as much or more from the teams that the Browns called than from the team itself.
In contrast to the prevailing belief—nay, in contrast to reality itself—Brown also recently stated that “we are not desperate for a quarterback; that perception is wrong”. We will see just how true that actually holds by the middle of the first round.
Cleveland has held private workouts for several of the top quarterbacks in the draft, and I’m frankly pretty confident that they’re going to draft one of them barring a run on quarterbacks between pick one and pick 12. Reports are that a run on quarterbacks could happen—late in the first, not at the top.
The Browns currently have three quarterbacks on the roster. On top of the depth chart at least for the time being is second-year former third-round draft pick Cody Kessler, who became the primary starter last season due to multiple injuries in front of him. Second-year undrafted free agent Kevin Hogan is also on the roster. Brock Osweiler, for whom they traded indirectly in a move to acquire a second-round pick, is the highest-pedigreed name at the position.
Cleveland last season looked to go into the year with Robert Griffin III as their starter, but he suffered an injury in the season opener. Their former starter-turned-backup Josh McCown suffered an injury in the second game. Both eventually returned and started, but neither remain with the team after having been released.