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.
Was the the most “Browns” type start to a Browns season you could imagine? We’re used to seeing the Browns stumble year after year in opening games, yet the storylines this year are worse than usual.
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.
The Browns were in the game in the third quarter when Cameron Erving launched a snap over RG3’s head for a safety.
After that, the Browns collapsed, and RG3 struggles the rest of the game until breaking a bone in his shoulder in garbage time on a freak play as he tried to run out of bounds.
As Browns fans we’re used to this misery, but this time I don’t think the sky is falling, though we all knew this team would have struggles this season.
Rumors are all over the place when it comes to Robert Griffin III and possible trade partners for the St. Louis Rams for the #2 pick in the NFL Draft. Some of the speculation has gotten out of control, but everyone needs to keep in mind that free agency will have a huge impact on the RG3 market, and that the Rams might need to make this deal as soon as possible, as their leverage with teams like Cleveland and Washington might dry up as players like Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn hit the market.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a helpful update of the status of the trade talks.
So far, however, the quarterback-needy teams don’t seem to be in a hurry to get Griffin. They might be waiting to see what happens with Manning, Flynn and the others. They might be waiting to do their due diligence and watch Griffin throw at his pro day March 21.
In the meantime, the Rams are talking and will continue to talk with potential trade partners. According to league sources, this was the trade landscape entering the weekend:
• Cleveland (No. 4 pick): The Browns are unwilling at this point to include their second first-round pick, No. 22, as part of any trade package with the Rams.
• Washington (No. 6): The Redskins appear willing to trade their first-round pick next year, as well as their No. 6 overall pick this year. But they aren’t willing to include their second-rounder this year, which isn’t acceptable to the Rams.
• Miami (No. 8): This one appears to be dead in the water, somewhere off Florida’s Gold Coast. After losing the tug-of-war for coach Jeff Fisher, the Dolphins aren’t eager to do business with the Rams — or do the Rams any favors.
• Seattle (No. 12): No chance. The last thing the Rams want to do is send RG3 to a division rival and face him twice a year. The same applies for Arizona, which picks 13th.
I’ll be surprised if a team like the Browns is able to snag the #2 pick without including their extra first-round selection in this year’s draft (#22 overall), but anything is possible if the other suitors go with other options.
This column does throw cold water on some of the reports out there that the Redskins were making a ridiculous offer for the pick, and the Browns are clearly being cautious or coy here.
RG3 blew everyone away at the Combine, and there’s every reason to expect him to impress on his pro day as well, but it’s hard to imagine teams giving up the farm for the #2 pick without watching this kid throw in person. A pre-draft draft is still very possible, but the Rams may have to wait as Thomas explains in his article.
Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III. (UPI Photo/Ian Halperin)
The buzz keeps building. Robert Griffin III measured at 6′ and 2 and 3/8″ and then blew away the field with a 4.38 time in the 40. It’s not quite as fast as the rumored 40-imes for Micheal Vick, but it still confirms RG3’s amazing athletic ability. (Official time later reported to be 4.41 – still fast!)
He’s also impressing everyone in his interviews as well, which isn’t a surprise.
The key question now is what will it take for the Browns to get him.
Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones (12) passes in the 1st half of their NCAA football game in Tallahassee, Florida Sept 17, 2011. The Oklahoma Sooners defeated the Florida State Sminoles 23-13. UPI/Mark Wallheiser
There will be one less quarterback in the draft for the Browns to consider, as Landry Jones has decided to stay at Oklahoma. Coupled with the decision of Matt Barkley to stay at USC, a once crowded quarterback class headed by Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III is now less impressive.