Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy are two quarterbacks the Browns will take a look at. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
We wrap up this three-part series examining the Browns quarterback options by taking a look at opportunities in the 2010 draft. In case you missed part one – staying with Quinn or Anderson – or part two – free agent options – the links have been provided.
Thanks to another losing season, the Browns find themselves near the top of the draft board again with the seventh pick in the first round. They have 11 picks total. If Mike Holmgren and new GM Tom Heckert decide to use that first pick to select a quarterback of the future, who’s the best option? Let’s throw some names out for dissection.
Sam Bradford – Oklahoma 2009 was supposed to be a huge year for Bradford. But a shoulder injury in the first game of the season put those hopes to rest. After a brief attempt to come back, he decided to shut it down for shoulder surgery. Rehab questions aside, he’s still the best QB in the draft and might even be off the board before the Browns pick.
Jimmy Clausen – Notre Dame A young Notre Dame QB coached and mentored by Charlie Weis now entering the draft. Where have we seen this before? The Browns shouldn’t shy away from Clausen simply for this reason; his numbers on a much weaker Irish squad is reason enough to give him a look.
Colt McCoy – Texas He seems like a bit of a stretch with the 7th pick. While the college numbers don’t lie, there is some concern over his accuracy with the deep ball. Throw in a shoulder injury suffered during the National Championship Game and you have serious questions about McCoy’s ability to compete at the NFL level.
Remember, picking a quarterback in the first round is almost always a gamble. You have your superstar hits (Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers) and your crash-and-burn misses (Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, or even Tim Couch). Do any of this year’s options really feel like sure-fire hits? Bradford is the only one of the three I’d feel comfortable with the Browns taking. But three teams picking ahead of the Browns are in the market for a quarterback: St. Louis, Washington, and Seattle. Seems unlikely Bradford will be there at seven.
So instead of taking a gamble on Clausen or McCoy or even Tim Tebow (somebody will take him in the first round, it just better not be Cleveland), the Browns could look for a diamond in the rough in the later rounds. Some names to consider include Tony Pike from Cincinnati (projected late 2nd/early 3rd round), Sean Canfield from Oregon State (projected 3rd round), and Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan (projected late 3rd/early 4th round). Pairing that pick with a veteran free-agent is a sound approach; one the Browns should have taken with Brady Quinn. How much did Quinn learn with Ken Dorsey as a mentor?
So allow me to put on my GM hat and tell you what that Browns should do: If the Redskins draft Bradford, Jason Campbell becomes available. He’s an established QB that’s primed for a change of scenery. Sign him. Due to a contract no team will touch, Derek Anderson stays with the team as your backup, and a mid-round QB pick like LeFevour or Pike becomes your man of the future. Unfortunately that leaves Brady Quinn without a spot. Trade him for a draft picks and cut your losses. A team desperate enough for a QB might be willing to part with a third and fifth round pick, similar to what the Browns received for Braylon Edwards. Stockpile those draft picks and build a team that can compete for years to come.
Now is your chance to play GM yourself and tell me what direction you’d like to see the Browns take at quarterback. Is Quinn still your guy or is it time for a new direction? Feel free to leave your comments below.
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