We’re still over two months away from the 2017 NFL Draft. For most teams, the time remaining will feel like a lifetime. This is especially the case for the Cleveland Browns, who’ve been on the clock since the past season came to an end.
Two months leaves plenty of time to overthink, to make a decision on who to take with the top overall pick and then doubt it one day later. It’s plenty of time to hear why so-and-so is a far better choice at No.1 than what’s-his-face. While the hope is the Browns aren’t basing their strategy on mock drafts, all they need to do is take a quick peek at a few of them to see numerous different predictions.
There are still plenty of people – myself included – who believe Cleveland should take defensive end Myles Garrett. That said, a handful of mocks still have the Browns taking one of the three top QB prospects first overall.
These predictions are, of course, based on everyone’s insistence Cleveland needs a quarterback. This is obviously 100% correct. As a result, many assume the Browns should take a one No.1 overall.
This assumption is 100% false. However, it’s not because the team has any semblance of a franchise QB in house, but because nobody can come to a conclusion on how good any of these prospects really are.
Sure, you could respond to this by saying “who cares what the so-called experts think, if the Browns think one of these quarterbacks should go No.1 they should take him.” That said, you can’t ignore the alarming fact the projections for all three prospects – Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and local boy Mitch Trubisky – are all over the board.
None of them are seen as a can’t-miss prospect. There’s no Andrew Luck pick here, someone who everyone unanimously agrees is hands-down the best available player, or even the best available QB.
Instead, we have three prospects and numerous varying projections on just how good each will be.
Recently, the most popular name tagged to Cleveland is Trubisky, who grew up in nearby Mentor and has claimed it’s his dream to play for his hometown team. The North Carolina standout falls to the Browns at the No.12 pick in some mocks, while others have him going first overall.
This alone creates some confusion on Trubisky’s projection. Things get murkier when you bring up his most notable red flag.
There are those who have doubts about Trubisky based on the fact he only started one season at UNC. If he’s so good, they ponder, why was he unable to unseat Marquise Williams? Why did it take him until his junior year to finally become a starter?
It’s certainly an important question, one which should cause hesitance from the Browns if they’re considering Trubisky as a potential first overall pick.
When it comes to Watson, projections are even more inconsistent.
It’s safe to say the hype from the Clemson star’s defeat of Alabama has died down a bit, as there are fewer people insisting he should go first overall. The calls for such a scenario are still out there, though.
Poking holes in those arguments is far easier than those clamoring for Trubisky, if only due to the simple fact some pundits are still saying Watson can be had in the second round. Apologies, but if there’s even the slightest bit of belief a player will be available on the second day of the draft, it makes zero sense to consider him with the top pick.
When it comes to the final prospect, Notre Dame‘s Kizer, the write-ups are a little less varying. He has a big arm and raw talent, but is too inconsistent.
To be fair, you’d have to look far and wide for anyone who thinks Cleveland should take him first overall. I’m only including him due merely to the fact he seems like someone who’s one impressive scouting session away from being everyone’s new favorite prospect.
Trust me, new wrinkles like this are going to arrive in the coming days. One of these prospects is sure to wow scouts at the combine. Another may have an otherworldly pro day. Such outcomes will no doubt increase the number of talking heads claiming the Browns need to go QB with their first pick.
However, I would still implore Cleveland do its best job at ignoring the hype. Simulated practices shouldn’t replace how each player performed in live-game action, or the projections everyone made as a result of said performances.
The Browns can certainly try and leave the upcoming draft with a quarterback. In fact, I encourage them to try and do so.
That is, of course, with any other pick except their first.