<
>

Browns draft issue: Is quarterback worth the reach?

Carson Wentz and Jared Goff will get long looks from teams in the market for a QB, including the Browns. USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper projects the Cleveland Browns selecting quarterback Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in the draft.

When Kiper ranks draftable players, though, he has Wentz 18th.

Jared Goff, whom he projects going to the Cowboys fourth overall, is ranked well above Wentz at fifth.

This points to the conundrum the Browns face come April: They need a quarterback and have the second pick, but they have to decide if it is wise to draft for position as opposed to taking the best player on the board — say cornerback Jalen Ramsey of Florida State.

If the Browns take a quarterback second, they will not be getting the value for the pick and they will be violating one of the sacred rules of drafting: Take a player where his ability indicates he should go, not where you are drafting.

To Kiper, the quarterbacks' value will never rise to the level of the second overall pick.

“It’s hard to see one of these quarterbacks getting high enough where the board value is the same as that draft slot," Kiper said Friday. "These are top 10-type talents, but I can’t put them ahead of guys that are simply superior football players at the top of the board at this point."

There is disparity in the rankings by analysts, though. Scouts Inc. and Todd McShay have Wentz eighth and Goff ninth. It's hard to find anyone who has either player ranked second.

"The mock is a projection," Kiper said. "But while I’ll study more and research and talk to more people, I still think Goff is a better player at this point.

"But you’re drafting on what you think they can become."

Potential can provide rewards.

Potential also can get coaches fired.

The Browns have to decide how best to use that second pick.