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I have been taking a lot of flack for my prediction of the Browns picks at number 1 and 4. I feel that I need to explain myself a little clearer. A lot of people are killing me because they believe that the Browns need to take a QB number one no questions asked. I am totally against that thinking for a number of reasons.
- I believe there is not a generational talent in the draft class, which is what I believe should warrant a top-five pick, let alone the top pick in the draft. Now I am not saying that I am an NFL scout or anything, but ask my wife I tend to watch an inordinate amount of college football, especially if there is one of the top QBs playing. If pressed for an answer I believe that Baker Mayfield is the best of the bunch. Darnold, I have seen play 4 complete games and outside of tearing up a porous at best 2016 ND defense and lighting it up against Penn State in the Rose Bowl, he was awful last year. I’m not sure if it was poor play or he felt extra pressure from being the top QB coming back, either way not what I would want in a QB that I need to help change the direction of the franchise. Rosen was 18-20 in his three years at UCLA with two bowl losses. Bill Parcells looks for four things in a QB, must be a senior, must be a graduate, must be a three-year starter, and lastly, he must have at least 23 wins. Rosen is 1-3 according to a Hall of Fame Coach and that is good enough for me to pass on him. Allen is big with a big arm and comes from the same system as Carson Wentz, but I am not sold on a guy that made his collegiate living playing against bad teams when he was at Wyoming. If I am drafting a QB with the number one pick overall I want a guy that was the man at a power 5 school that played in some big-time games in some big-time atmospheres. Mayfield, who I believe is the best of the bunch and gun to my head had to take a QB number 1 he would be the guy. He has won a lot of games at Oklahoma, played in College Football Playoff three times, although never advancing to Championship game. He definitely put up some numbers at OU, but honestly who wouldn’t in the Big 12? He had an impressive win this year at Ohio State but threw a game-changing INT against Georgia in the Rose Bowl. I am just not sold on any of the QBs at number one.
- I do not know how you sell to the fans the fact that you have the ability to take the best player in the draft and you take, according to Mel Kiper’s big board the fifth. That is where the top QB resides. The Browns 1-31 in the last two years, and have the opportunity to make a splash in Free Agency and the draft with two top five picks. How can they take a player number one and plan on not playing him, in my opinion, you have to take instant impact guys at 1 and 4.
- You can not win with a rookie QB. I would love to draft a sure-fire elite QB, ala Peyton Manning, but that guy is not there. If you look at the NFL, unless you have an elite QB like Brady, Rothlisberger, or Rodgers, you build the team to protect the QB with a great defense, so they do not have to play from behind and throw the ball 1000xs, and a running game to take pressure off the QB. For current day NFL examples, look at Dallas, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, and Minnesota. All have average to above average QB play but are able to win because they run the ball effectively and their defense can keep them in games.
- The last reason I would not take a QB number one is that Hue Jackson, in my opinion, will not last the season and we all know that a new coach will want to bring in his guy to play QB. The worst move the Browns made was not getting rid of Jackson in the offseason. The way the season will probably go is that Jackson will get fired after a 1-7 start and they will hand the reigns over to Haley. They have so many assets this year now was the time to start new with a new front office and head coach.
Those are my reasons that I believe John Dorsey should pass on a QB in the first round. I do believe that he should aggressively pursue a QB in FA. A.J. McCarron or Teddy Bridgewater could be viable options to lead the rest of the quarterback room. If you can sign a veteran the age of McCarron or Bridgewater they could be your QB for the foreseeable future and you could build around them. They should also pursue Earl Thomas the great safety the Seahawks are looking to move. He is only signed for the next year, so ideally the Browns would need to work out a long-term deal with him before they make the trade. I was also pleased to hear that they are interested in trading for Jarvis Landry. Landry would give them a bonafide number one receiver next to Josh Gordon, I would think any QB would want to play in that offense. Then if they take Barkley at number one the offense just became pretty potent overnight. Their defense is o.k. right now and if they add Thomas their backend just got pretty damn good. Now you can play Peppers at nickel like Arizona does with the Honey Badger, one of my favorite college players of all time by the way. Draft Fitzpatrick and the defense just got instantly better, with those moves and then adding pieces with the three, second rounders and the rest of the late round picks the Browns are looking competitive, especially in a weak AFC North. These are just my ideas to fix the Browns and as I stated above Jackson needed to go, but if he is staying and it is looking that way, we need to give him weapons to win now, so we are not starting over a year from now.
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Next week we are about to embark on the most overrated sporting event of the year, March Madness. The first weekend of the tournament, although I do enjoy it for the wall to wall basketball, it is highly overrated. People say it is great because everyone has a chance, no they do not! No number 16 has ever upset a number 1 and a 15 seed has only upset 2 seed eight times since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The NCAA tournament is usually won by a blue blood of college basketball, 3 times since 1985 has a seed lower than 4 won the National Championship. Some games are exciting and you will have that when you play that much basketball in three weeks, but overall you can get 75% of the Final Four at the beginning of the tournament. I also am not a big fan of the automatic bid going to the conference tournament champion. The regular season champion is obviously the better team but maybe the other team got hot and upset the best team. Why wouldn’t they give the regular season and the conference tournament champion both an automatic bid?Then both champions would be rewarded if there were two different teams, I bet it is not many conferences that have two different champions anyway.
I hate to say it but I just watched Duke take apart Notre Dame in the ACC tournament and they look good. That team could definitely make a run in the tourney.
This weekend is up in the air as far as what I am going to be cooking this weekend and that is mainly due to the weather, it is crazy here in Northeast Ohio! I’m thinking Sunday if it is decent out maybe the morning to make some breakfast on the Green Egg. I will let you know in Sunday’s edition.
Well that is all for today, here is to hope no matter what the Browns do this spring it works out for the fans of Cleveland, they have suffered enough. Love you guys!!
Any BBQ catering needs in the Cleveland area see @WCPeters_1 Calendar is filling up fast for spring and summer!
3 Outs Baseball Academy is hosting a baseball camp at Westlake High School for kids ages K-7th grade. Contact Brendan Zepp @3outsbaseball