The incessant quarterback talk didn’t make its annual return to Northeast Ohio this spring.
After years of contentious and continuous debate over which quarterback prospect was the right one to save the Browns, people had to find something else to fight about in the run-up to this draft. The Browns have Baker Mayfield — after general manager John Dorsey’s bold selection at No. 1 last April — and that silenced the conversation and stopped the seemingly unending search for a franchise quarterback.
But Mayfield is only one man and the Browns have an opening for a young No. 3. So the Browns could very well draft a quarterback for the fourth straight year.
This one won’t come until the later rounds.
Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens are comfortable with veteran Drew Stanton as the backup, leaving only an opening for a developmental No. 3. Garrett Gilbert was signed after the AAF folded, but the Browns should add competition through the draft.
The big names will be long gone when Dorsey begins to consider taking a quarterback, but plenty of successful passers have been found in the later rounds, including arguably the greatest of all time — Tom Brady in the sixth round in 2000. Whomever Dorsey selects will be largely overlooked, but the goal is for him to become Mayfield’s backup within a couple of years.
The choice will be a lot about specific characteristics. Dorsey must identify traits he believes can be developed into something special.
TOP OF THE CLASS — Quarterbacks
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma: That a 5-foot-10 quarterback is expected to be the No. 1 pick either speaks to how far the league’s come or the dearth of quality passers in this draft. Murray is a great athlete with a strong arm, but his height, durability and commitment to football (he also plays baseball) are concerns.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State: Good size (6-3, 231) and arm, but inconsistent thrower and poor scrambler.
Daniel Jones, Duke: Tall (6-5), smart (economics degree) and mobile but lacks elite tools, including arm strength.
Other notables: Drew Lock, Missouri; Will Grier, West Virginia; Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Keep an eye on for the Browns: Clayton Thorson, Northwestern; Gardner Minshaw, Washington State; Brett Rypien, Boise State