Mike Holmgren has been pretty definite about one thing in the upcoming draft: the Browns will pick up a quarterback in the first 7 rounds of the 2011 draft. Given other, more-urgent team needs, this will probably occur in the later rounds. So what might the Browns be looking for in what will surely be a developmental signal caller?
West Coast Potential - Does he get the ball out quickly? Is he quick to read defenses? In what system is he used to playing? Is he a very accurate passer in the 10-15 yard range?
Physical Attributes - Can he make all the throws? Can he elude the rush? Is he injury prone?
Coachability - Can he be coached up? Is he a fast learner? Does he have a high football IQ?
Leadership and Intangibles - Is he a winner? Is he mature? Does he leave everything on the field and behave himself off the field?
Knowing that the Browns seem very intent on adding to the quarterback roster, what might they expect to see that will meet their requirements later in the draft?
Door Number 1 - Christian Ponder, Florida State, 6’3" 225 lbs
Very accurate on the short throws with good touch on longer throws. Reads defenses fairly well and goes through his progressions often finding second and third options when the primary receiver is covered. Has a tight delivery with a quick release. Displays good footwork and athleticism. Is heavily involved in community service off the field and is considered very coachable with substantial upside potential.
Does not have a very strong arm. Needs more development for success at the next level. Had a shoulder injury that required surgery. He may move up too high in the draft for the Browns.
Projected 2nd to 6th round
Door Number 2 - Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, 6’4" 230 lbs
Overall football IQ and his accuracy in the short passing game make Stanzi a good fit for a west coast offense. Stands tall in the pocket. Has played in a pro-style offense throughout his career. Has great height and size for the NFL. Great leadership in the huddle and has a reputation for crafting come-from-behind victories.
Footwork on his drop back needs work. Has a mediocre arm and sometimes floats his deep ball. Shows some inaccuracy when throwing on the run.
Projected 3rd to 7th round
Door Number 3 - Greg McElroy, Alabama, 6’3" 221 lbs
McElroy is a 5th year player that is a proven winner at every level. Took Alabama to a National Championship in 2009. Is known to be a highly intelligent player who can read coverage and make good decisions. Scored 48 out of a possible 50 on the Wonderlic test. Played in the SEC against some of the best DBs in college football. Accurate thrower who takes care of the ball.
Has an unusual throwing motion that will make most NFL teams shy away. Not particularly athletic. Fractured a bone in his right hand late in the 2010 season.
Projected 4th to 6th round
I believe the earliest the Browns will take a quarterback will be the 5th round. If you think none of these would make a good pickup for the Browns, you are encouraged to skip on the doors and take the curtain where our lovely assistant, The Bone Lady, is standing. Tell us why you think your choice would be better.