The Cleveland Browns have drawn a sort of reputation about themselves over the course of the past two decades. Ever since they busted with Tim Couch first-overall, the organization has avoided selecting quarterbacks when they have been in position to do so near the top of the draft.
Most famously, they chose to pass over Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. The Ohio native went on to lead Cleveland’s division rival to three Super Bowl appearances, winning two of them, and still has his team in position to compete for more.
More recently, the Browns traded back from the second-overall spot in the 2016 NFL Draft that would have allowed them to draft Carson Wentz. While he ended up on injured reserve by the end of the regular season this past year due to a torn ACL, he led the Philadelphia Eagles to the top seed in the NFC and the team went on to win the Super Bowl.
The Browns held the top pick in the draft a year ago and fairly used it on Myles Garrett, but could have chosen Mitchell Trubisky, who went next. More directly, they traded back from the 12th-overall selection in last year’s draft, which the Houston Texans used to select Deshaun Watson. His rookie season was brief, also due to a torn ACL, but he showed legitimate flashes of promise. DeShone Kizer did not.
Cleveland has had such abysmal fortunes addressing the quarterback position that they are reportedly considering doubling down and drafting two, according to The Ringer. Kevin Clark writes that he has spoken to multiple members of the organization, posing them a ‘stupid’ question of whether or not they have considered doing just that, and the answer was yes.
For those who might have forgotten, the Browns hold not only the first-overall pick in the draft, but also the fourth. If they were so inclined, they would be granted by their position in the draft the ability to select at least two players from among the top group of quarterbacks, consisting of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, and Lamar Jackson.
Now I can’t recall a team ever using two first-round picks on quarterbacks in the same draft class, but taking two is not all that uncommon. Perhaps most famous recently was the Washington Redskins’ drafting Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the same class.
And to be clear, the question posed was the idea of drafting two quarterbacks high in the draft, not just two quarterbacks in total. It is within the realm of possibility that two of the quarterbacks listed above could end up in Cleveland, though I wouldn’t exactly bet on it.
When the Browns brought in John Dorsey as general manager, he made it quite clear that fixing the quarterback position was the top priority. The team has already traded all of its quarterbacks from last season while adding Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton, and is in position to draft any quarterback they want—if not two.