Since their 1999 return to the NFL, the Cleveland Browns have been a laughing stock. With only two winning seasons since their rebirth, the Browns have become the portrait of football futility. Often plagued with many problems, their team has constantly struggled with a lack of talent on both sides of the ball. One of these problems is that of the Cleveland Browns quarterback carousel.
With over 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999, the Browns have been nothing at the position except consistently inconsistent. During the 2016 season alone, Cleveland used three different starters: Robert Griffin , Josh McCown, and Cody Kessler. Although some of the blame should go to a fairly terrible offensive line, there is no doubt that Cleveland’s signal-callers are just not talented. But, with the main four candidates in the NFL Draft, the trade market, and free agency this year, the Browns have plenty of choices. In 2017, it is time for the Cleveland Browns quarterback carousel to stop.
The Cleveland Browns Quarterback Carousel Stops Now
Rather than fearing it, sports fans tend to love the unknown. New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo is a massive unknown. Sure, he has not seen much in-game action, but that is what to expect when you are the back-up for Tom Brady.
Another boost to Garoppolo’s value is his coaching. During his NFL tenure, Garoppolo has been trained under Bill Belichick, who fans often consider the best coach in the NFL. Without a doubt, Belichick has him ready to go. The only problem is that the Browns would have to give up a first-round draft pick for him. However, if Coach Jackson really likes Garoppolo that much, he may just be willing to pull the trigger. It might seem unlikely right now, but Jimmy Garoppolo could be a Browns quarterback in 2017.
If you asked a Browns fan at the end of the 2015 season who they wanted to see at quarterback, nearly all of them would say Clemson superstar Deshaun Watson. But now, the same fans do not seem so sure.
During the 2016 college football season, Watson did show some flaws in his game. However, no player is without fault. To seemingly make up for his sub-par (by his standards) season, Watson proceeded to do what many fans thought was impossible. Watson led his Clemson Tigers to a National Championship victory over a seemingly unbeatable Alabama team. For getting a quarterback in this draft, Watson could be the top option.
Formerly known as just Mitch, North Carolina’s lead man Mitchell Trubisky has shot up draft boards. Although he only started one full season with the Tar Heels, Trubisky showed amazing potential. To make his case for Cleveland even sweeter, Trubisky is native to the Buckeye State. Raised in Mentor, Ohio, Trubisky wants to be the Browns’ hometown savior.
Hue Jackson has noted that he “loves” Trubisky, but one question still stands. Is Trubisky worth the first overall pick? Many scouts say no, and that that honor belongs to Texas A&M’s stud defender, Myles Garrett. However, if Cleveland is really that desperate for a franchise quarterback, Trubisky might be their guy.
Perhaps the most intriguing quarterback prospect in this year’s draft, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer is certainly interesting. Kizer could have the most upside of any signal-caller in this class, as his raw arm strength shined at the Combine. However, with great reward often comes great risk. Many scouts fear that Kizer might be a bust anywhere, let alone as a Browns quarterback. It will certainly be intriguing to see where he goes in the 2017 NFL Draft, with Cleveland as a viable option.
Conclusion: It’s Up to Hue
No matter what the Browns decide to do this off-season, the decision mainly falls on one man. Hue Jackson has a “hue-ge” choice to make this year. While New England may be asking too much for Garoppolo, he could turn out to be great. Watson might be the safest pick, but is he built for the AFC North? Additionally, are fans looking at Trubisky through rose-colored glasses? Finally, is DeShone Kizer worth the risk? If Hue wants to stay with the Cleveland Browns in 2018, he had better make the right quarterback choice. Much like they did with Cody Kessler, fans might just have to trust him on this one.