• Apr : 26 : 2017 - Mockery of a Mock Draft 2017
  • Mar : 16 : 2015 - Cleveland Browns QB Dilemma: Should They Trade Up For Marcus Mariota?
  • Aug : 10 : 2014 - Much was learned, much to do as Browns fall to Lions, 13-12.
  • Sep : 21 : 2013 - Banner, Browns: More than just new curtains and paint in Berea
  • Aug : 10 : 2013 - Browns look calm, cool, collected in pre-season win over Rams
Posted by Mar - 16 - 2015 0 Comment
Picture provided by GoDucks.com

Picture provided by GoDucks.com

 

As usual in Cleveland, the quarterback situation is a topic of conversation heading into the 2015 NFL Draft. For the Browns, the majority of the talk this offseason has centered on whether or not the team should draft another first-round quarterback just one year after selecting Johnny Manziel.

 Though the Browns will likely be out of the market for the top QB available on most boards, Jameis Winston, the team has been connected to Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota. Though many have tabbed the Oregon Duck as a risk heading into the NFL due to the system he played in, he is a risk absolutely worth taking.

 The biggest rule of thumb in the NFL is that nothing matters unless you get the QB. Sadly for Browns fans, this is something they know all too well since 1999. Have past regimes thoroughly tried to fix the QB conundrum in Cleveland? Possibly, but maybe the team hasn’t tried hard enough.

Focusing on Mariota, the cost to get him may not be as much as many think

 The Browns drafted Johnny Manziel at quarterback in 2014 why should they spend an early pick on Marcus Mariota? This is not to write off Johnny Manziel yet in the NFL. He could possibly bloom into a QB in the NFL.

 Do I have my doubts? Sure, always have since before that pick. The beauty of having both on the roster is the rookie pay scale. Before the change in pay structure, I would never want to waste time with two first-round QBs due to the exuberant contracts first-round picks used to receive in the NFL.

 This coming season, the Browns are only paying Manziel $794,936 in base salary. The upside of having both is that young QBs with rookie contracts are assets. This league is clearly QB hungry. If both develop into viable starting options, regardless of how unlikely this scenario is, you can move one for picks or other spots on the roster that might be lacking.

 Back to my original question, should the Browns be looking at Mariota?

 Until you have a QB in the NFL teams should always be looking to upgrade the position. While scouting him, you can see a lot of the tools that make Mariota a QB coaches will want.

 For starters, his best trait is his brain. Scouts will throw out the word “Cerebral” about Mariota. Make a list of current NFL QBs you would label with the “cerebral” description. I bet most of that list includes the Top 15 QBs in the league. Talent will only take you so far in this league, especially at the QB position—where you have to be smart as well. Want to go more in-depth into Mariota’s passing ability and efficiency in 2014? Go look at what Rotoworld.com wrote about him.

 Right about now I know what you are thinking. “Why should the Browns take another first-round QB, it seems like they do it every year.”

 The facts about past regimes and the most important position in football do not back up that suggestion. Everyone knows the infamous picture of the 21 starting QBs in Cleveland. Only eight of those 21 were draft picks made by the organization over the last 15 years.

  Tim Couch, picked 1st overall in the 1999 NFL Draft, was the first QB heartache. Being the first QB for an expansion team is not easy. Do fans remember that wonderful expansion draft? Jim Pyne was the first selection to “protect” our investment at QB. Couch on today’s Browns would be a whole different picture.

Next was Spergon Wynn, drafted with pick No. 183 in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Wynn is more notorious for being known as one of the QBs taken before Tom Brady at No. 199. With late-round QB success so few and far between, there it was not likely to get two exceptions to the rule in one year.

The other McCown, Luke was drafted No. 106th overall in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft. Butch Davis had a propensity for drafting “his” guys. His guys meant anyone that played for him, he recruited, or was impressed with when coaching against. That is not a great way to be evaluating talent as GM and head coach.

 Next up was Charlie Frye, the first “Hometown QB” in Cleveland since the return. Frye was picked with the No. 67th pick of the third round in the 2005 NFL Draft. He showed some minor flashes early in his career, but there was clearly no consistency in his game. The Akron product would eventually be traded when Derek Anderson emerged as the Browns QB that season.

 Back into the first-round draft picks, where Brady Quinn was taken with the 22nd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Eight years went by before another first-round QB was taken by the Cleveland Browns! Some will say Quinn was sabotaged by the QB competition early on with Anderson. Plain and simple, he was just not good enough.

 Now on to the much maligned, Colt McCoy. McCoy was drafted with the No. 85th pick in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the biggest “could of” story ever, not because of the Browns. He fell to the third round because Alabama destroyed his throwing arm in the National Championship game that year. After a few flashes with the Browns and being rushed into action earlier than anticipated, he was out too.

 Once again it was back to the first round and “lucky” No. 22, as Brandon Weeden was taken with in the 2012 NFL Draft.  He was 28-years old when drafted, and that tells you a lot of the mistake there. Two years later, Manziel was taken with the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. If Manziel does not turn things around, he’ll be known as the bust taken before Teddy Bridgewater.

 What have you learned? Cleveland has only taken one QB in top 20 of the draft. This is where teams are most likely to find a true franchise guy. There are rare exceptions to the rule, but the trend in the past for Cleveland is to pick a middle-to-late round QB when it looks like a first-round quarterback might not pan out. The amount of 3rd to 7th round successful starting QBs list is not a very long one for a reason.

 With that said, do you still want to “take a flier on a mid-round pick,” Cleveland fans?

 So here we are, as the conversation has come full circle. What will it cost to get Mariota (considered to be a top-tier talent by many) to the Cleveland Browns? Many seem to think the market for him will be too expensive. The issue with that is not the price, but where will he be available.

Consensus has Winston going No. 1 overall to Tampa Bay, then the Tennessee Titans are next up. This team could really use a QB and the chance for him to Cleveland should be slim to none—unless he slides. The reason why he slides? Leonard Williams. Williams is easily the best prospect in this year’s draft. A team like the Titans that is hurting all over the place should look at this stud.

 Next up is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who took Blake Bortles last year. This could be trade partner No. 1. However, the likelihood Jacksonville trades is slim. The Caldwell/Bradley team is smart and they know they have some young building blocks. Bradley is a defense first guy and still has no stud pass rusher. Dante Fowler Jr. is a name to remember with them.

 Like Jacksonville, the Oakland Raiders have a young QB of their own. Derek Carr showed signs of life for them last year. Clearly they are not looking QB, as most pundits will tag a WR here. Oakland, however, is one of two teams I would look at being starved for picks and bodies to put around Carr to see if he can amount to anything.

 Washington is next up, as some reports say they would be willing to take Mariota. Washington’s roster is lacking in many areas since they are notorious for signing a ton of free agents to go with their last first-round pick in RG3. Stability and injuries have plagued his career. This is the team that would be most desperate for any amount of picks to get something on their roster.

 Here are the scenarios for both teams that could be likely.

 Scenario 1 is Pick No. 12, second-round picks in 15/16, and a sweetener of a 4th in either year. That might only work with the Redskins, but breaking down the amount of picks the Browns have between this year and next year that isn’t too bad especially if Washington is as desperate as they should be. This scenario also leaves No. 19 in Cleveland’s possession to pick up a Jaelen Strong (Arizona State) at WR or Bud DuPree (Kentucky) at OLB.

 In Scenario 2, the Cleveland Browns would ship off to either team both first-round picks this year, a second-round pick next year and likely fourth-round picks in both drafts. This would leave the 2nd and 3rd round picks to fill in other areas with a Nate Orchard (Utah) like pass rusher in the 2nd, and a quality WR in the 3rd. Examples that could be there in the third round are: Nelson Agholor (USC), Sammie Coates (Auburn) and Chris Conley (Georgia).

 This scenario could play out with another trade to move back into the 2nd round with a 3rd round pick and a late rounder. Smart teams like the Patriots will always rather a 2nd pick in the 2nd round over taking a late-round pick.

 As you can see, a deal for Mariota isn’t just a pipe dream, it is a potential reality at a fraction of the cost most seem to think it is. “Mortgaging the Future” won’t be the cost of finally trying something the Cleveland Browns haven’t done since 1999.

 

 

Leave a Reply


Scoreboard

Sponsors

  • Cheap reliable web hosting from WebHostingHub.com.
  • Domain name search and availability check by PCNames.com.
  • Website and logo design contests at DesignContest.com.
  • Reviews of the best cheap web hosting providers at WebHostingRating.com.