When the 2018 NFL season opens, we not for a fact that the Cleveland Browns will be featuring a new starting quarterback. Not only that, following yesterday’s move, we can be assured that they will not even have one quarterback on the roster who has even spent any time with the team prior to this offseason.
Third-year quarterback Kevin Hogan requested the opportunity to seek a trade, which was granted. The former fifth-round pick who was the primary backup to then-rookie DeShone Kizer was dealt to Washington, with the two teams swapping picks in the sixth round, Cleveland obviously moving up. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs while current Brown General Manager John Dorsey was there. Dorsey released him once, and now has traded him.
Hoan is the third quarterback the Browns have traded this offseason, starting with Kizer himself. The Browns’ second-round draft pick last year (or one of them), the Notre Dame product was paired with a draft pick and sent to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a former first-round defensive back in Damarious Randall. Though he played cornerback for Green Bay, he will play safety in Cleveland.
They also traded Cody Kessler to the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this offseason. A 2016 third-round draft pick who was their primary starter that season due to injury, he was dealt to back up Blake Bortles in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
Kizer, Hogan, and Kessler was the Browns’ quarterback room in 2017. As of yesterday, that room has been entirely wiped clean, down to the quarterbacks coach, bringing in former Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese.
New to the team are Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton. A primary starter for the past three seasons, Taylor was acquired from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a third-round draft pick. He has posted at 22-20 record there and took the Bills to their first postseason appearance of this millennium—literally.
Stanton is a veteran backup quarterback who has spent the bulk of his career with the Indianapolis Colts and, more recently, the Arizona Cardinals, posting a 9-4 record in starts over the past four seasons in Arizona.
These two veteran quarterbacks, along with longtime quarterbacks coach Zampese, will be the nucleus around which the Browns surround whichever quarterback prospect they select early in the 2018 NFL Draft.
More likely that selection will come with the first-overall pick, but it could come at four as well, or even in between if a trade is made. But if they have narrowed down to one player, you have to figure they will actually pull the trigger for once.
The Browns have held private workouts for and scheduled pre-draft visits with all of the top quarterback prospects, doing their due diligence on the likes of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. The last quarterback the team has selected in the top 20 of a draft was Tim Couch in 1999.