With the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns saying out loud the Cleveland Browns are in the business of drafting a quarterback if the opportunity presents itself, it means two things: The short era of Johnny Manziel with the franchise is pretty much over, and that Jared Goff is now the favorite to the be the next quarterback for the failing team, whether he likes it or not.
Goff out of California is the leading quarterback on most of the very early mock drafts, ahead of Paxton Lynch of Memphis (redshirted Junior) and Carson Wentz of North Dakota State, all projected to go in the first round, with Goff looking like the only one who has a shot of being a top 5 pick. It seems that Joey Bosa of the Ohio State Buckeyes is the overwhelming favorite to be the number one overall pick after his fantastic job as a defensive end in Columbus. After that, it’s wide open.
So, do the Browns go with Goff? He has an NFL arm and improved each season for the Golden Bears, throwing 43 touchdowns last season, including a fantastic performance in the Armed Forces Bowl against Military, throwing six touchdowns and 467 yards, throwing for 4719 yards in his final season for the program. He was in a system that allowed him to put up big numbers and he’s not the type of prospect like Andrew Luck which seems like a 100% success once he enters the NFL, but of everyone heading into this draft, he seems like the safest bet at quarterback.
There’s been a long line of failures at quarterback for the Browns, a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in over a decade, and the failure to find someone they feel good about for more than a season or two probably stands at the top of the reasons list. While there are so many things important in the building of a championship or simply a playoff team, having consistency at quarterback and having a guy you can trust is probably the one things that trumps everything else and is also capable of making up for some flaws a team may have. The Browns won’t find it in free agency or a trade, and need to hope that this time, they’re taking the right guy, while having a good enough coaching staff to help him develop quickly and correctly.
The Browns select number two overall. The Titans have the first overall pick, which means the Browns don’t have to worry about anyone stealing Goff from them if that’s the guy they’re locked in on, as the Titans feel good about Marcus Mariota, the number two overall pick in 2015, at least when he isn’t injured.