Will Browns fall in love with DeShaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson - 2017 National Championship

Bud Shaw asks the right questions in his latest column about DeShaun Watson. It all centers around Watson as a legitimate NFL quarterback prospect after his amazing performance in the National Championship game.

Of course Watson will be one of the top quarterbacks taken in the NFL Draft, and of course he brings many skills that should translate to the NFL game. But the Browns have the top pick in the draft and can select a defensive stud in Myles Garrett, who many consider to be the best player in the draft. So for the Browns we have to consider where Watson or another quarterback might be taken given that they’re sitting on picks 1, 12 and 33 in the draft.

Shaw brings up some legitimate concerns regarding Watson if you’re considering him at #1. As you move down the first round and into pick 33, the positives certainly start to outweigh any of these concerns.

The Browns may get the opportunity to coach Watson at the Senior Bowl, which is a huge positive. Shaw seems concerned this may lead Hue Jackson to fall in love with Watson in the same manner he became intrigued by RG3. But it’s worth noting that RG3 was a calculated risk for the Browns with little downside, so in one sense it’s not fair to compare these situations. Jackson has to realize the opportunity cost of taking Watson high if he happens to love him as a prospect.

The bigger issue raised by Shaw is the assumed reliance by the Browns on Jackson’s opinions. Of course he knows quarterbacks, but so did Mike Holmgren. Perhaps the best quarterback coaches aren’t always the best evaluators of quarterback talent, since they sometimes overestimate their own abilities to work out the flaws in a prospect.

Shaw argues persuasively that the entire organization needs to get behind a selection of Watson or any other quarterback that they would select at #1. So without that consensus they should probably stick to the best player there, and then look for a QB at 12 or 33.

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Browns cough up game to Redskins

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But they also keep making mistakes and giving away opportunities to win games. Coupled with some brutal officiating that seems to go against them each week, and you have games like today.

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And naturally, the national media is piling on (who can blame them). Colin Cowherd manages to offer all the simplistic criticisms of the Browns in this short video clip above, calling them the worst-run franchise in the NFL and proclaiming RG3’s career to be over.

The new Browns regime passed on Carson Wentz, so of course Wentz ends up getting the start in the opener against the Browns and plays very well.

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Man, did Cleveland get more physical

The title above is a quote from Mel Kiper’s positive review of the Browns’ first round picks:

Danny Shelton is an immediate-impact player in Cleveland. And by the way, I know some people question Cameron Erving. But when Alex Mack got hurt last year, the offense fell off a cliff, and Erving isn’t just insurance, he’s versatile and can start elsewhere. Man, did Cleveland get more physical.

The Browns didn’t get cute in round one, and decided to added needed size, muscle and versatility to both lines. The NFC North is a physical division, and both of these picks are more in line with what we’ve come to expect from the Steelers and Ravens over the years.

In the video above, you also see some positive reviews of the Shelton pick, even from well-groomed Brady Quinn of all people.

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