Friday, April 26, 2013
Can Browns avoid taking QB on Day 2?
By Jamison Hensley
In the hours leading up to the start of the NFL draft, the reports varied from the Cleveland Browns drafting West Virginia's Geno Smith in the first round to the team trading for New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. The Browns ultimately passed on Smith on Thursday night, and they reportedly have no interest in acquiring Mallett.
Will the Browns be able to avoid taking a quarterback on the second day of the draft? Cleveland only has a third-round pick, the 68th overall, because it used a second-rounder on wide receiver Josh Gordon in last year's supplemental draft.
Three quarterbacks -- West Virginia's Geno Smith, USC's Matt Barkley and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib -- are all expected to go in the second round Friday night. That would leave the likes of NC State's Mike Glennon, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Tennessee's Tyler Bray sitting there when the Browns are on the clock again.
With these choices, I wouldn't take a quarterback in the third round and I don't see the Browns doing so either. The one quarterback who intrigued me for the Browns was Florida State's EJ Manuel because he brought a different element than Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. But the Browns never had a decision to make with Manuel, a second- or third-round talent who was surprisingly taken by the Buffalo Bills at No. 16.
The best decision for the Browns is to remain patient and let Weeden have a second year to prove himself. He didn't live up to expectations of being a first-round pick, but he was far from a bust. Weeden threw for 3,385 yards, which was more than Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill.
If Weeden fails to establish himself, there's always Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel next year.