We're going to go made thinking about Carson Wentz vs. Jared Goff leading up to April 28th, aren't we? The 2016 NFL Draft is a little over two weeks away, and from my perspective, the Cleveland Browns have not done anything to show which of the two prospects they prefer. If you read a couple of the draft-related articles that have been published recently, your head will start spinning on the emotional roller coaster of buying in to one quarterback before being told we're actually taking another.
On Tuesday, ESPN published an in-depth piece detailing Wentz Pro Day and the preparation he put in leading up to it. Central to the piece was the Browns' involvement in the process, including how they gave the North Dakota State star a playbook to review.
In his truck, Wentz has a thin binder full of plays from -- who else? -- the Browns. Cleveland has both the second pick in the 2016 draft and arguably the most miserable quarterback succession in the NFL over the past decade. And despite picking up Robert Griffin III in March, all signs show that the Browns are still on the hunt for another one.
Wentz knows the team is testing him, trying to both rattle and educate. The Browns can't afford another failure. He has memorized every formation, but he's still headed to the Fargodome hungry to diagram plays. (Wentz long ago acquired a key to the stadium to ensure late-night access.) Lindley, a journeyman since being drafted in 2012, will quiz Wentz on the Browns' verbiage, demanding to know where each read should be against different defenses.
The article later describes the Browns quizzing Wentz at his Pro Day and how he handled the wet ball test. If you read it in its entirety, you'd leave thinking, "Wentz is going to be the guy."
Just one day later (Wednesday), you have Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports going back in the other direction, starting with his bold headline: Why it will be Jared Goff, not Carson Wentz, going to Browns at No. 2.
La Canfora says he is hearing that many of the team's scouts prefer Wentz, but that the coaching staff and front office prefer Goff, with Pep Hamilton leading the charge:
And while there is some natural debate as to which of these quarterbacks is best, and some believe the margin is close, sources say Hamilton -- hand-picked by new head coach Hue Jackson (a quarterback guru himself), doesn't see it that way at all. His reports have Goff far and away the better candidate and it wouldn't take a major leap to infer that might just be how Jackson sees things himself. And while things between Jackson and the front office haven't exactly gotten off to a sterling start (as the Browns' free-agent foibles displayed), in this instance he and The Stat Boys might actually be on the same page.
The Browns appear to be doing too much due diligence on the quarterbacks to not eventually have their heart set on one of them. The question then is this: if a team moves up to No. 1 overall and grabs their guy, will they like the other quarterback enough to still select them at No. 2 overall, or will they have a completely new backup plan in which they trade back? Hopefully it doesn't come down to that.