If NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly was in charge of the Browns he would ensure Hue Jackson remained the head coach through the team’s rebuild. The former NFL general manager believes coaches under pressure are more prone to drafting a quarterback rather than selecting the best player.
“… The owner has to come in there and say, ‘listen, you’re going to be here Hue Jackson, take the best player. I know we’re reaching on a quarterback,'” Casserly said on Good Morning Football Wednesday. “‘Myles Garrett is a Hall of Famer (I’m joking a little bit there), take him. We’ll build this program from the bottom up and you’ve got my backing. By the way, you’ve got a year on your contract, too.'”
Casserly’s words came the morning after an ESPN report suggested Cleveland has yet to make up its mind at No. 1. The Browns reportedly are mulling between selecting Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett and a quarterback at No. 1 during the draft, which takes place from April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
Like many in the NFL world, Casserly wondered if the report was a rumor to prop up the value of the No. 1 pick and entice a quarterback-needy team to trade up to No. 1. The Buffalo Bills, who have worked out North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Notre Dame quarterback Deshone Kizer and Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, could be an example of a team that might be desperate to snag their quarterback of the future. The Cardinals, Giants, 49ers and others have also become a moderate-to-heavy presence in the quarterback workout circuit.
And then there’s the Jets…
While this is disinformation season and the draft rumor mill takes on the look of an over-stocked coal furnace during the final weeks before the draft, Casserly might be on to something. If reports are true and the Browns are worried about heading into another season without a franchise quarterback, this is the time for ownership to step in. This might be the most encouraging year and a half stretch in recent franchise history and nothing bottoms out momentum like a team whiffing on a quarterback with a premium pick.
There have been several opportunities for the Browns to reverse the course of their franchise over the past few seasons — most notably the 2014 draft when they could have exited the first round with both Khalil Mack and Teddy Bridgewater, or Mack and Derek Carr but instead stumbled out with Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert.
As more teams latch on to Cleveland’s draft capital theory, the Browns will have fewer and fewer opportunities to maximize the draft’s potential and load up on the best players available. This is 2014 all over again, and the Browns finally have a chance to make it right.