1. Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2. Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
3. 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
4. Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5. Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
And then here is how the re-drafted Top 5 looked:
1. Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
2. 49ers: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
3. Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
4. Jaguars: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
5. Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
For Browns fans, the big question boils down to whether, if given the chance to do it over, you’d still take Garrett at No. 1 overall, or whether you’d take Watson after the massive potential he showed. Insider Matt Bowen was the individual who made the decision to go with Watson. Bowen acknowledged that there is nothing wrong with Garrett, but if Cleveland could address the franchise quarterback question once and for all, they need to jump on it:
If we look back at Watson’s tape from 2017, and his 19 touchdowns in seven games before injuring his knee in practice, his ability to run a modern offense pairs with Hue Jackson’s philosophy. It’s the movement passes, the quick game, the shot throws off play-action and the RPOs (run-pass option) -- with some QB runs sprinkled in. Play fast, open up throwing windows and use movement to dictate tempo from an offensive perspective.
With Watson in the mix, the Browns would most likely not be picking No. 1 overall again in the 2018 draft, and they also wouldn’t have added the No. 4 overall pick, which the Texans gave up last year in trading up for Watson. But if Cleveland had solidified its QB position last April, the Browns could have focused on building a winning culture around Watson, Josh Gordon and a solid offensive front this offseason. Instead, they’re still looking for their quarterback of the future.
This isn’t about whether the Browns made the right or wrong decision last year. If you, knowing what you know now about the 2017 draft class, could re-submit your pick a year later, would you still take Garrett first, or would Watson get the honor now?