The 2018 NFL Draft is just over a fortnight away, and our beloved Cleveland Browns have been on the clock since like October. There is an overwhelming expectation that this tortured franchise will select a quarterback with the #1 overall selection just after 8pm (EST) on Thursday, April 26th. This may seem like a foregone conclusion and presumably it is. Consider though that Cleveland has had the 1st and 2nd draft picks(s) over the last two seasons and did not draft a QB either time.
You may counter that it’s a different story now that Sashi Brown is no longer running things. Fair enough, but keep in mind that the last QB we selected prior to the twenty-first overall was 1999, when we took Kentucky’s Tim Couch with the first pick of the new (and cruel) era. That’s amazing when you think of just how long we have been really bad, and that it’s been nearly 20 years since we’ve selected a QB top 20.
Thus, people have reasons to be skeptical that we will indeed pull the trigger this time around. Alas, the quarterback class that is available is as good and as deep as it has been, perhaps in a generation. It would seem therefore that we will finally break this head-scratching cycle and take a guy with a top pick (the top pick as it happens) this year. In a rare show of good fortune, we have several good options to choose from:
Josh Allen, Wyoming
There may never have been a stronger arm to come out of a draft class than that of Josh Allen from Wyoming. From a physical standpoint, he’s the biggest prospect in the class, and also possesses an above-average amount of athleticism. Coming from a small school, he’s frequently compared to Philadelphia's Carson Wentz in terms of his offseason ascendancy up draft boards. He has been mocked to the Browns at #1 by Mel Kiper during this draft season.
Sam Darnold, USC
Sam Darnold has been well atop the draft boards pretty much since the moment he declared. Possessed of requisite size/athleticism/arm strength and such, Darnold could very well become the fourth USC QB to be selected in the top 10 since 2003. The 2018 SB Nation Writers just selected him for us in their annual mock.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Absolutely electrifying with the ball in his hands. The 2016 Heisman trophy winner improved as a passer in 2017. Has plenty of arm, despite the misleading combine velocity “measurements”. He was just recently selected 1st overall in the annual DBN Community Mock. The potential here is sky high.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
First walk-on true freshman to start as a quarterback in an FBS season opener. First walk-on to win the Heisman trophy. Led college football in practically every metric. Is my personal choice. Has been mocked to Cleveland #1 overall by various publications, most notably PFF.
Josh Rosen, UCLA
Among the top tier prospects throughout this entire process. Refined pocket passer, no doubt about arm strength/mechanics. Played in a favorable offensive system. CBS mocked him to the Browns just a few days ago.
Kyle Lauletta (Richmond), Mike White (Western Kentucky), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State). These three are quality options that figure to be available in later rounds, but don’t quite crack the top five. It’s possible that if teams like Denver, Arizona, Buffalo go all out for a QB that one of these might turn into a late round snag by someone (Pittsburgh, New England, New Orleans). This QB class is ridiculously stacked.
Which QB Should The Browns Draft #1 Overall?
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