The annual SB Nation Writers Mock Draft is in progress over at our network's draft coverage stream. The way it works is that each NFL blog picks a player for their team when their site is on the clock. This is the second year in a row I’ve been able to have the No. 1 overall pick for Cleveland, and one thing was for sure: I was taking a quarterback.
No. 1 - QB Sam Darnold, USC
Chris Pokorny: “There comes a point where your franchise needs to just commit to the fact that no matter what, they are selecting a quarterback at No. 1 overall. This is that year. The last time the team selected a quarterback at No. 1 overall was way back in 1999 (Tim Couch). Since then, they’ve tried their hand at multiple later first-round quarterbacks like Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel. It hasn’t worked out.
The past two years, the Browns were in position to draft players like Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky. They passed on all of them. This is where the organization puts its foot down and says, “We’re getting a quarterback, period.”
Regarding Darnold specifically, I hate to call him a safe pick, but that is what I view him as compared to the other top quarterbacks in this year’s class. I feel he is the least likely to be a flat out bust, and I’m optimistic about the quarterback he can become. Darnold can sit for a year behind Tyrod Taylor, and then the coaching staff can see how things look in 2019. There will be a great sense of comfort that the team finally pulled the trigger on a top young quarterback. Also, the team will still be able to draft a blue-chip player at No. 4 overall. How incredible is that?”
(In parenthesis is the average voting rank given on Mocking the Draft by voters -- 1 = F; 2 = D; 3 = C; 4 = B; 5 = A)
To see what Dan Kadar thought of our pick (and what people are saying in the comments section), go here. The voting has us at a grade of 4.14 right now, which is pretty high for there not being a consensus first overall pick. If you feel the pick should be rated higher (or lower), feel free to head on over and vote!
I am back on the clock at No. 4 overall, and we’ll also be continuing this through the end of round two.