One of the ways the Cleveland Browns could attack the quarterback position is through the NFL Draft and they could be in a better position than we think. Especially in the last few years to ensure success at the position and has shown a shift in the types of quarterbacks teams are looking for.
Even if the Browns and Baker Mayfield find a way to get him back in 2022, the team’s pursuit of Deshaun Watson has made it clear they won’t settle for anything less than a first passer, a reasonable position for them. trying to win the Super Bowl take. Given the doubts raised by the Browns, whether it’s Mayfield or another bridge quarterback, the Browns will always look for ways to attack the quarterback position, which could include the draft. of the NFL.
It all comes down to supply, but if a player a team wants is there, it’s been shown time and time again that a team can find a way to get him, often by trading to do so. The Kansas City Chiefs traded for Patrick Mahomes, the Buffalo Bills traded for Josh Allen and the Baltimore Ravens traded in the first round for Lamar Jackson.
It is more important that the team succeeds and provides consistency. Success doesn’t necessarily mean a struggle year after year, but having a strong talent base and stability within the organization is important.
The Ravens and Bills were 9-7 the year before their quarterbacks were acquired while the Chiefs were 12-4.
This relieves the quarterback of carrying the team early while ensuring that he doesn’t have to learn multiple offensive systems and build relationships with new coaches during the most important period of his development. If the organization is secure, the main objective is to ensure the success of the quarterback. It starts when they are ready to play. Mahomes, Jackson and Allen spent at least part of their rookie seasons.
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Stability is one area where the Browns have been as abysmal as any team in the league. The Browns have had nine different head coaches since John Harbaugh took over as head coach of the Ravens. Andy Reid is closing in on a decade with the Chiefs. Sean McDermott served as the head coach for Josh Allen’s entire run.
Baker Mayfield, the Browns’ most successful quarterback since the ’90s, has had four different head coaches in four NFL seasons. Whatever Mayfield may miss in the position, it hasn’t done him any favors.
If the ownership is really committed to Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry, ready to play this for another three to four years, it will increase the chances of success of the quarterback the Browns would choose.
Rookie quarterback deals are valuable and provide a competitive edge. A good quarterback on a rookie contract not only allows teams to invest more to improve in other places on the roster, but players are more likely to be interested in teams with a chance to move up. confront, sometimes even willing to take less money to do so, creating a snowball effect.
This allows the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Chargers to stock up on talent around Josh Allen and Justin Herbert. Allen is on his fifth-year option, the final season before his contract balloons on his extension. Herbert is entering the third year of his rookie contract, giving them a three-year window.
Average to above-average quarterbacks on rookie deals have value simply because the rest of the roster has the ability to field them. The Ravens led by Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl under these circumstances.
That’s the Browns’ assessment of Mayfield so far, as illustrated by their pursuit of Watson. Good enough to win games and make the playoffs, but not good enough to carry a team or be a serious contender. When the money increases, it’s time to move on to chasing a better setter or another profitable option.
So, not only is it beneficial for a team to have a reasonably established roster to help develop a quarterback, but the financial implications tally to reward this approach.
Build a team with a talent base with a stable organization. Then go get the quarterback, who will likely have a better chance of reaching his potential, keep adding, then push for the Super Bowl. If that fails, but the roster is good enough to wrestle with, go all out for a top tier veteran quarterback if one is available.
That’s the approach the Los Angeles Rams took with Jared Goff being traded for Matthew Stafford. They went to the Super Bowl with Goff, but won it with Stafford. The Denver Broncos are trying to do it for the second time. The first they were able to sign free agent Peyton Manning, who helped them win a Super Bowl. Now, after drafting Drew Lock, which was unsuccessful, they’ve acquired Russell Wilson.
The Browns could just look to skip the draft and go straight to veteran, but they should keep their options open as none are guaranteed to be available.
The quarterback evaluation process has evolved over the past few decades into the type of quarterback prospect that some teams target. These teams are looking for quarterbacks with exceptional traits more than polish. It sounds like how the NBA Draft often works.
Go for a player with incredible arm talent, both in terms of raw strength and speed, but also the way he is able to deliver the football. Find someone with size and game-changing mobility or athleticism.
At this point the team is betting on a player’s work ethic combined with their ability as an organization to develop them. That’s how the NBA works. Players there are so young that they often have no choice but to bet on these types of traits.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward scenario with notable examples across the spectrum, ranging from stars like Lamar Jackson, the league’s 2019 MVP to Josh Allen to Justin Herbert to players who didn’t make it. , including companion Drew Lock, and Paxton Lynch, who was a total bust.
To mention two Broncos draft picks that didn’t work out only underscores how they embraced that thought process. These players failed, but they won a Super Bowl with this plan and they could end up with another.
Former Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer could be viewed through that lens. Tall, mobile with a strong arm. It also illustrates how an organization can mishandle a player like that, sabotaging any potential he might have had.
There are other traits that teams look for in these quarterback prospects such as accuracy, processing speed, their ability to perform under pressure and out of structure. They are not fair draft an organ, but that’s definitely part of the equation. And in a world where teams might only keep a player for the duration of their rookie contract, maybe a little longer, teams are encouraged to use the quarterback’s legs as the star element of offense.
It’s easier to be successful on offense and create passing windows when a defense has an additional threat to defend against. The quarterback’s ability to run increases his threat as a passer.
Lamar Jackson is currently the best example of this in the NFL. When teams are stretched because they have to worry about his ability to open play as a runner, he can take advantage of that to find receivers on the field. Sometimes when forced to operate from the pocket during periods of play, the results aren’t as good as the defense has less to worry about and can focus on stopping the passing game.
Jackson’s presence creates so much space on offense, forcing teams to defend the entire court, which immediately gives the Ravens an advantage. The Bills, Chiefs and Chargers also have excellent spacing. They pick up complementary talents to boost him, but a lot of it starts with the quarterback.
The name that immediately comes to mind during the 2022 NFL Draft is Liberty University’s Malik Willis. The former Auburn transfer weighs around 220 pounds, has electrifying athleticism and an ability to escape, also possessing exceptional arm strength.
Teams can look at his traits and see where he could become one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. He still needs a lot of work and there’s a chance he’ll never get close to that level, but a team is going to bet on Willis as well as his ability to pull him off. This is increasingly likely to happen in the top 10 picks.
If the Browns see that potential in him, they could definitely be in the running to either acquire him as the 13th pick or even trade for him. They have the talent base to succeed. It’s almost entirely a question of whether that organization can be stable enough to possibly sustain it.
There may be other quarterbacks the Browns could see from this angle. Willis simply stands out as the most obvious example. If they don’t see it in these quarterbacks or are simply unable to acquire them, that may be the process the Browns use when looking for their quarterback answer.
Keep building the roster, try to go big on a top veteran option if the opportunity arises, then look to draft a quarterback with game-breaking traits they hope to develop into a star. Repeat if necessary.