Heading into the offseason, the Browns said they would pursue all options at quarterback. They weren't lying.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Browns will host former Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian this weekend.
Don't recognize the name? Don't feel bad. In a forgettable quarterback draft class, Siemian is an unknown. For the most part, the 6'2, 212 pound prospect has received little to no attention leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft.
I could not find any reputable sports website (draft-centered or otherwise) with Siemian appearing in a quarterback rankings list. The only website I could find with a rankings list of more than 15 quarterbacks was OptimumScouting.com, which listed 41 quarterbacks. Siemian did not appear on that list.
It's no surprise that few have heard of Siemian. The Windermere, Florida native started just 14 games during his four-year career at Northwestern. Siemian served as mostly a backup in 2011, 2012, and 2013, playing second fiddle to Kain Coulter. Siemian received his chance to shine last season as the team's primary starter, but compiled iffy numbers in the team's spread offense. Siemian started 11 games, recording 2,214 yards, seven touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Prior to Northwestern's final regular season game in 2014, Siemian suffered a torn ACL, missing the team's final game against Illinois. Siemian finished his career as a Wildcat with 5,194 career yards, fourth in Northwestern history.
The injury has hampered Siemian's draft preparations, but he did participate in a limited fashion in Northwestern's pro day on April 9. About a week ago, Chicago Magazine published a nice piece on Siemian's comeback. If you're interested in Siemian, it's worth the read.
But the best article I found about Siemian comes from the Daily Northwestern, published in November 2014. The piece contains this telling description of Siemian:
‘Unremarkableness’ was one of Siemian’s defining traits throughout his time at NU. Between the white lines he typically held his own but never quite distinguished himself. He didn’t possess Kain Colter’s speed or Dan Persa’s accuracy or Zack Oliver’s arm strength. He’d occasionally play the hero and occasionally serve as the punch line but spent most of his career somewhere in between.
Siemian did guide the Wildcats to a 43-40 overtime win over Notre Dame in November, but as the writer states, Siemian's time at Northwestern was forgettable.
Will Siemian's time in the NFL be more memorable? A few NFL teams are investigating the possibility. According to Rapoport, Denver brought in Siemian for a visit in early April.
Want a sleeper? Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian, who tore his ACL in Nov and missed all-star games & the Combine. Visiting #Broncos Thursday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2015
Our friends at Mile High Report recently wrote a great piece looking at Siemian, available here. The article included game film of the young signalcaller, and the tape is very revealing. Siemian displayed accuracy on short passes and an aptitude for escaping pressure, but also showed a tendency to throw into coverage and make dubious decisions with the football.
Siemian's fate is nowhere near clear, as the Northwestern product could be taken late in the draft, or could be out of football by August.
Will the Browns take a chance on Siemian? With the Browns, anything is possible.