With the NFL Draft fast approaching and the Pro Day circuit well under way, the Cleveland Browns are on the road, sniffing out, presumably, whom they intend to make their next starting quarterback—you know, whenever he is ready to take over for Tyrod Taylor, who has already been proclaimed the starter for 2018.
Even team owner Jimmy Haslam was with the Browns’ road representatives as they headed to the University of Southern California to have quite a gathering with their quarterback, Sam Darnold. Darnold met with Haslam and other representatives of the team, and the owner even talked with Darnold’s parents.
The quarterback told reporters after his Pro Day and meeting with the Browns that “it’d be awesome” if they took him with the first pick “just because I think what the Browns are doing is really good right now and I think they have potential to be a really good team in the future”.
Cleveland has won just one game in the past two years, which is the worst record over a two-year span in NFL history, but they have made some prominent moves this offseason and put themselves in a position to acquire significant talent. That included trading for Jarvis Landry at wide receiver, who had 400 receptions over his first four seasons, the first player ever to accomplish that.
The Browns sent a battalion there to hold a private workout with Darnold that also included General Manager Jon Dorsey, offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese. But they also held a private workout for Josh Rosen at UCLA on Tuesday.
And today is Oklahoma’s Pro Day, where they will scout Baker Mayfield and hold a private workout for him. tomorrow is the Pro Day for Wyoming, where they will take a closer look at Josh Allen.
Given that they hold two of the top four picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s hard to imagine one of these four quarterbacks not soon becoming a member of the Browns. Right now, they are putting them through their paces to determine which one stands out as the potential leader for their franchise, perhaps their first franchise quarterback since Bernie Kosar, from a different era of the team’s history that is only indirectly their own.
The draft is likely to see a very early run on quarterbacks, with the New York Giants and the New York Jets (after trading up from the sixth spot) owning the two slots behind Cleveland’s first-overall pick. There is an excellent chance that three of the top four selections are quarterbacks—possibly even the top four if Cleveland takes its own at the top and then trades back.