No matter what happens in Week 17 for the Cleveland Browns, they are officially on the clock for the No. 1 pick in 2018. The question however, isn't who will they take, but rather how they'll screw it up.
History has proven too often, that the Browns and 'wrong' are interchangeable.
There's no use giving a history lesson on Cleveland Browns futility since the NFL graciously gave them a team back in 1999. One can start with Tim Couch and leave it there.
— Jess (@ProSportsChick) June 21, 2016
On second thought…
It's almost impossible not to talk about how bad the Browns have been at quarterback since 1999. 28 different quarterbacks have started in Cleveland. Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson was number three. For 16 straight seasons, the Browns have started at least two different quarterbacks (in 2008, they started four).
Each off-season a starting quarterback is at the top of Cleveland's needs list, and each season they do something to mess it up. In 19 seasons, Cleveland has had just two winning seasons and one playoff appearance. The Browns have passed on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in consecutive years. They drafted Johnny Manziel in 2014 because a homeless man held a gun (DID NOT HAPPEN) to owner Jimmy Haslam's head. Other quarterbacks selected that year, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Coming into the 2018 draft there are a variety of ways Cleveland can mess it up, here are just a few.
1. Draft Josh Rosen
While Josh Rosen hasn't said it, he hasn't hasn't said it.
This is how that scenario plays out. Cleveland takes Rosen first because they are tired of being told they passed on Watson and Wentz the last two years. Rosen has emerged as the top rated quarterback in the draft.
Rosen recently said, “I’d rather be a lower pick at the right team than a higher at the wrong team.” He decides Cleveland is definitely the wrong team. He chooses to sit the year out or the Browns can trade his rights. Rosen, who comes from a family of "means" is not money-motivated, does what Eli Manning and John Elway have done before him, do the right thing and stay away from a loser. (Sorry Cleveland, but you know it, we know it, I mean there's even a youtube video about it)
When you come from a factory of sadness (as expressed in the link above) sometimes the pressure to find the franchises savior can be too tall an order. So who is to say new Browns General Manager John Dorsey buckles like Glass Joe after a jumping right upper cut. What if they decide to let someone else make the first move and they'll get the next quarterback available. There's plenty of people who like Josh Allen and Sam Darnold. Let the Giants take Rosen first after the Browns fail to make a decision. It's not the worst they could do.
3. Trade The No. 1 Pick
While this may be a great idea in theory, there's an old saying…
Thank you, Mr. President.
The Browns CANNOT afford to trade the No. 1 pick and watch another quarterback they passed on succeed. I don't care if they decide to go after Kirk Cousins in free agency with all the fury of 10,000 Black Friday shoppers, land the prized quarterback, collect a king's ransom for the top pick, get Saquon Barkley and Minkah Fitzpatrick with the traded pick and the fourth overall they still own (by the way, this is a fantastic scenario for the Browns).
As President Bush said above, you can't get fooled again, and if Rosen, Allen or Darnold turn out to be another top gun, the city of Cleveland might actually shutter the stadium themselves.
4. Trade Down to No. 22
No. No. No.
Your Cleveland Browns.