Colt McCoy great fit, value for Browns
April, 24, 2010
By James Walker | ESPN.com
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesColt McCoy's biggest strength -- his accuracy -- fits perfectly with the Browns.BEREA, Ohio -- Former University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy admits his NFL draft experience made for a very long day.
McCoy waited for three rounds as he was drafted much lower than expected. But in the end, he landed at the location many predicted when the Cleveland Browns selected the quarterback with the No. 85 overall pick.
Cleveland was not shy about its admiration for McCoy. He had an excellent visit and instant chemistry with the Browns' brass, and McCoy's biggest strength -- his accuracy -- fits perfectly with the Browns, who plan to install principles of the West Coast offense this season.
In addition, Cleveland got its quarterback at a tremendous bargain late in the third round. The feisty McCoy said every team passing him by will only help in the long run.
"I will definitely use it as motivation," McCoy said. "You can put everything else in a bag, all the teams that passed me and decided to go different ways. I understand the needs of teams but I'm obviously confident in my abilities as a quarterback."
The pairing of the Browns and McCoy looked unlikely as the draft unfolded Friday. Cleveland went with other needs in the second round, selecting safety T.J. Ward and tailback Montario Hardesty. With the latter pick, the Browns traded up for Hardesty at No. 59 overall and then had a long wait to take McCoy at No. 85.
Cleveland made it a point not to reach for a quarterback because it was not an immediate need with veteran Jake Delhomme the starter in 2010. But the Browns also ran the risk of missing out on their potential long-term solution at the league's most important position.
"In Colt's case, I really didn’t think he would be available to us," said Browns president Mike Holmgren, who admits he was very influential with this particular selection. "I thought he would be gone before we had a chance to pick him."
McCoy has a few knocks against him. He lacks the ideal size and height for an NFL quarterback, which is a major reason he fell into the third round. There are also some questions about arm strength, particularly playing for a cold-weather team like Cleveland.
But the positives far outweighed the negatives in Cleveland's eyes. Holmgren said McCoy has all of the intangibles you look for in a quarterback. McCoy is a natural leader, a hard worker and set an NCAA record with 45 wins as starter.
McCoy's intention is to bring all of those things to Cleveland and reach his potential.
"When my name is called, I'm going to go out there and produce and I'm going to be the best," McCoy said. "That's how I was raised. That's how I was coached, and I'm fired up."
Holmgren knew when he arrived in Cleveland that he had quite a rebuilding project ahead of him. He's already drafted a cornerback (Joe Haden), a safety (Ward), a running back (Hardesty) and an offensive lineman (Shawn Lauvao).
But finding a quarterback is probably the most important part of Holmgren's rebuilding phase.
Holmgren knows quarterbacks. And if McCoy turns out to be his latest find, that would mark significant progress for this struggling franchise.
"We can't fix everything in one year," Holmgren said. "But hopefully we took a good step."