It’s pretty hard, when you’re in the running for it, to avoid the luster of the possibility of being the first-overall selection in the NFL Draft. There comes with it a certain gravitas, a bona fide that follows you for the rest of your life.
While the history of the pick has naturally some mixed success, there are plenty of examples of excellence, the likes of which include Peyton Manning, Bruce Smith, John Elway, Earl Campbell, Bo Jackson, and Orlando Pace. And everybody wants to be the next one. Recent quarterbacks from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff have been a pretty safe bet, even.
With being the first-overall pick, however, always comes along with it the high probability that you may be going to an awful team, and, worse yet, an awful organization. The Cleveland Browns have been working hard for many years to try not to be an awful team, but having had an awful organization has made it rather difficult.
That is why we often see certain potential first-overall picks say such things when asked about potentially going in that slot that they care more about going into the right fit than going first. And sure, it’s much easier to sit behind Brett Favre than to try to resurrect the Detroit Lions.
The Browns, once again, have the first-overall pick, and this time it seems pretty likely that they first-overall pick will be a quarterback. At least one of them, Josh Allen, is ready for the challenge of leading a team that has won a single game over two years to success.
Speaking yesterday at the Senior Bowl, the Wyoming quarterback said when asked that it “would be special” if he were able “to get the opportunity to go [to Cleveland] and kind of be the guy”. Allen has already been linked by a couple of excessively early mock drafts to the Browns, who hold not one, but two picks in the top five, including the first pick.
“It’s a tough situation obviously to come in as a rookie and expect to be perfect right away”, he admitted, also acknowledging that he knows he has “a lot of flaws as a quarterback”. But, he said, he would relish it if “given an opportunity of being able to go to Cleveland and help change the culture there and be a part of a really good team”.
Allen noted that the Browns are a very young team, though perhaps was stretching when he said “they’re going to be really good in the next coming years”. They still have a long way to go before that is even a feasible thing to say.
But perhaps he could be a part of that change. He noted the change that they made at general manager. They recently brought in Todd Haley at offensive coordinator as well. Even though they’ve barely won at all in years, the biggest piece missing remains the quarterback, after all.