With possibly four quarterbacks taken in the first five picks and five (maybe six) quarterbacks taken in the first 32 selections, each of the teams that writes the name of a quarterback on a first-round draft card will believe that they are getting a franchise-changing guy. In the end, up to half (or more) could be dead wrong.
History tells us that quarterbacks have a ceiling that can’t be determined until they’re in the NFL and either busting through it or bumping against it. Most if not all incoming players have flaws, especially the quarterbacks.
While Rodgers challenged to be the first overall pick in the draft, the 49ers chose Smith, with Rodgers falling all the way to the Packers at 24. Many observers were concerned that Rodgers was a product of Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who previously sent Akili Smith, Kyle Boller and Joey Harrington to the pros with limited success. One NFL personnel director told McGinn that Tedford quarterbacks “all throw the ball the same way,” while another said Rodgers “is very rigid mechanically.” It’s difficult to think of a quarterback in NFL history who is more fluid in getting rid of the football off-schedule than Rodgers.
The unnamed friend of Dorsey also believes that the Browns will take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 4, resisting the temptation to trade down.
Of course, it’s hard to know whether the Browns will use the pick or trade it without knowing what another team is offering for the fourth pick. But the idea of the Browns choosing not to pass the pick and stockpile more of them makes sense. Teams that have traded up in recent years have done fairly well, for the most part (and with a few significant exceptions, like the trade for RGIII).
With the Browns technically on the clock, there’s no reason for the Browns to be coy about their intentions. But there’s also no real reason to be transparent. Maybe they could still drop a spot or two and still get Allen. Maybe if they drop a spot or two hoping to get Allen but get someone else, maybe they want to be able to say that’s the guy they would have taken at No. 1.