The Cleveland Browns entered Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a 0-12 record and almost immediately went down 13-0 early in the first quarter. Assuming the Browns can’t come back and beat the Bengals, the team will face a road game against the Buffalo Bills, a home game against the San Diego Chargers, and a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in order to avoid becoming the second team in NFL history to go 0-16.
The Browns will certainly be underdogs in every one of those games and the only legitimate shot remaining for a victory may be in the team’s final home game against the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers are extremely banged up and have nothing to play for and will be traveling almost 2,500 miles across country to play. Even still, the Browns are so bad, the team will likely still be an underdog in that game.
After naming Robert Griffin III the starter, Hue Jackson talked about his other three quarterbacks. https://t.co/KSh8Kek51j
— Browns247 (@NFL_Browns247) December 8, 2016
About the only positive about being the worst team in football is that the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft comes along with it. That means that Browns will be able to pick whoever their scouting department feels is the best player in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Ideally, that player would be a quarterback as Cleveland hasn’t had a true franchise quarterback since the new franchise came into existence in 1999. In that time frame, the Browns have had 26 different quarterbacks take a snap from under center and the only one to reach the Pro Bowl was Derek Anderson in 2007.
Unfortunately for the Browns, there doesn’t seem to be a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft that is worth taking with the No. 1 overall pick. There’s no Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, or even Matt Ryan. Every quarterback in this draft has flaws and it’s going to be up to Cleveland whether the team wants to reach for one.
A number of outlets have North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky currently rated as the No. 1 quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft. If you look strictly at stats, it makes a lot of sense as Trubisky completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions in 2016.
— Hyundai Sun Bowl (@HyundaiSunBowl) December 8, 2016
The biggest knock against Trubisky is a lack of experience and a small sample size. 2016 was Trubisky’s first season as a starting quarterback and it wasn’t exactly a murdurer’s row of a schedule. The best defense that Trubisky played against was the Georgia Bulldogs who finished No. 12 in the country in total defense. In that game, Mitch completed 24-of-40 passes for only 156 yards as the Tar Heels lost 33-24.
Behind Trubisky, the names you hear most often are Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, and Miami’s Brad Kaaya. CBS Sports currently has Trubisky as the No. 4 overall prospect, Watson as the No. 6, Kizer at No. 31, and Kaaya at No. 58. For comparison’s sake, Bleacher Report‘s Matt Miller has Trubisky at No. 9, Kizer at No. 27, Watson at No. 28, and Kaaya at No. 38.
On the other hand, Miller has Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett as his No. 1 overall player and CBS has Garrett No.2 behind Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday morning that the Browns have an “astronomical grade” on Garrett.
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) December 11, 2016
In 2016, Garrett recorded 8.5 sacks in only eight games, but 4.5 of those sacks came in one game against UTEP. That being said, Garrett recorded 12.5 sacks in 2015 and had at least one sack in eight of his 13 games. Not only is he the best pure pass rusher in this class, but he’s also improved mightily against the run this season.
If the Browns were to select Garrett, then what would they do at quarterback? Schefter reports that a trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is one possibility while another would be using the team’s second first-round pick on either Kizer, Kaaya, or Watson if they’re available. The team acquired the Philadelphia Eagles’ first-round pick in last year’s trade for the No. 2 overall pick.
Myles Garrett might have to play for the Browns???? https://t.co/THoxo6BYkq
— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) December 11, 2016
Any way you slice it, the Cleveland Browns understand that they need to add a quarterback this offseason. Whether it comes through the draft or via trade, there will be another quarterback on the Browns’ roster in 2017. They just may also add the best defensive player in the draft along with that quarterback.
[Featured Image by Butch Dill/Getty Images]