I can’t believe what I’m about to type
Posted by disappointmentzone on 1 March 2007
Bear with me through this. It’s a half-formed thought and it might be incredibly bad, but right now I figure it’s worth tossing out to see what people think.
The Browns draft Brady Quinn.
There. I said it. Now, let me explain.
The Raiders are drafting Russell. The Lions are drafting Thomas. Thomas is who I really want the Browns to draft, but I do not think trading up one spot is worth it nor do I think that Thomas is going to slip to the 3rd spot (another team might be willing to trade with Detroit to draft Thomas). So no Thomas for the Browns.
Then we get the Browns at #3. Peterson and Johnson will both still be on the board. Bucs will likely be targeting Johnson (it’s about the only draft pick for the Bucs that makes total sense). The Browns are certainly not going to draft Johnson, so Tampa Bay has no reason to move up in the draft. But pretty much every other team will want Johnson or, if not Johnson, will want Peterson. Such is the benefit of having the third pick in a draft where there are four elite players. It’s not hard to fathom, in other words, a team wanting to trade with the Browns for, say, the right to draft Peterson. Of course, no one between the Browns and the Vikings will be drafting Peterson, so the potential trade partners pretty much begin with Minnesota. And the only way the Vikings would go for a trade is if they think that the Browns are interested in Peterson. Which is the case, even if it’s not. The Browns posturing like they are going to draft Peterson is enough of a threat to any team wanting Peterson to force a trade. Anyway.
Neither Washington (#5) nor Arizona (#6) nor Tampa Bay (#4) are going to be drafting a QB. The Vikings just cut Brad Johnson, which leaves room on their roster for a QB, but let’s set aside the Vikings for the moment. Houston (#8) has David Carr and seems to be committed to him. Then we get the Dolphins, the team a number of draft experts see drafting Quinn. But wait! The Dolphins are interested in Trent Green.
Trent Green is a great quarterback to sign — he’s been really great over the last five seasons — but he’s old and therefore no long-term solution at QB. A long-term solution at QB is what the Browns need. Frye isn’t the answer. Anderson is not the answer. NO QUARTERBACK ON THE ROSTER IS THE ANSWER. SOMEONE NEW IS NEEDED.
If the Dolphins are taken out of the Brady Quinn lottery by signing Green then you have to travel all the way down to Buffalo at #12 before you find another team who would want to draft a QB. That gives a lot of room for the Browns to operate with trades. Virtually anywhere between #3 and #12 means that the Browns could draft Quinn — with two assumptions: 1) the Dolphins sign Green. 2) The Vikings don’t draft Quinn.
So what of the Vikings? Well, if the Browns get the sense that the Vikings are going to draft Quinn no matter what then what the Browns need to start doing right now is play up their interest in Quinn. That’s right. Feign utter love for the ND signal caller. Why? Well, suppose the Browns really want Peterson — which seems to be the case right now — but also suppose that all indications heading into the draft are that the Browns are split between Quinn and Peterson. That puts the Vikings in a really tough hole. If the Vikings blink first, they’ll have to trade up to get their man, which means that the Browns let the Vikings take Quinn at #3 while still getting Peterson at #7 — and for a lot less money. Anyway.
These sort of draft-day permutations are nearly endless, so here are three more reasons why trading down to take Quinn is a good idea:
1: The Browns sign Quinn for a much lower price than they sign anyone else at #3. They’d also be getting the quarterback who, if the draft happened on December 31st, would have been the #1 pick, for the money of a, say, #8 pick. Too often teams let the final bowl game and the workouts shade their thoughts about a player. 10 weeks ago Quinn was the top pick in the draft. Getting him at the price of a late top-ten pick would have been a boondoggle in December. Plus, cap issues, etc. Cheaper is better.
2: Quinn is an excellent quarterback for the Browns. He’s been playing under a great QB coach in Charlie Weis for the past few seasons and during that time has played in an NFL offense. Plus he’s never had the benefit of a great offensive line, which is what the Browns offer. Say what you will about Quinn, but last season he played incredibly well given the guys blocking in front of him. He’s an NFL-ready QB who knows what it’s like to play under great pressure and he’s done so with aplomb and skill.
3: He actually wants to play in Cleveland. Wanting to play in Cleveland is about all Frye has going for him right now. Quinn slides easily into that role but he also brings, you know, talent.
Two weeks ago I never would have considered taking Quinn, but I think that’s mostly because he went to ND and because I wouldn’t spend the third pick on him. But if I swallow hard I can get past the ND aspect and I’ve always thought the Browns should trade down if they can’t draft Thomas. Drafting Quinn after trading down makes sense. Right?
What this all comes down to is this: The Browns can trade down and draft someone not named Peterson, Johnson, or Thomas. Or the Browns can stay put and draft someone named Peterson or Johnson. So you have to weigh Peterson/Johnson at #3 money without bonus picks against Not Peterson/Johnson at less than #3 money plus bonus picks. If that Not Peterson/Johnson is Quinn I think I’d take it. There are too many holes on the team. More draft picks are needed. One area that’s not a big hole is RB. Other areas need to be addressed first. One of them in QB. So Quinn. Right? Right?