EDITOR'S NOTE: This blog was written in April 2007, following the first day of the NFL draft.
I'm disgusted! After a brilliant decision to select Joe Thomas with the third overall pick, GM Phil Savage and head coach Romeo Crennel signed their own pink slips when they followed through with the bone-head trade to get Brady Quinn.
The team had absolutely NO BUSINESS taking a quarterback in the first round -- especially Quinn. There was a reason why Quinn slid into the 20s of the first round. HE'S NOT THAT GOOD. And that's no secret among NFL scouts, or he would have gone higher. He's the next Aaron Rodgers. How'd he do in big games? John Cooper had a better record in big games (Michigan, USC and bowl games) than Quinn!
Look, if the Browns are going to give up their second-round pick AND next year's first-round pick to move up 14 spots (back into the first round at No. 22), they had better come away with a player who is going to have an immediate impact. Maybe the best cornerback available. Maybe the best pass rusher. Maybe the best run-stuffing defensive lineman. But a quarterback whose going to sit on the bench?????? And if he's not on the bench, that means Quinn is playing before he's ready and that will be disasterous. I don't care how much Mel Kiper Jr. drools over Brady Quinn, I think the golden boy from Notre Dame is going to be a bust in the NFL -- especially with Cleveland.
He's going to play under AT LEAST two head coaches and as many as three offensive coordinators in his first two or three seasons, and probably take a pounding like Tim Couch did. Meanwhile, the cornerback or linebacker the Browns could have taken with that pick or their own early in the second round will develop into a Pro Bowl talent for someone else. It's probably good Cleveland won't have a No. 1 pick next year. It prevents them from screwing up another first-round selection. It's just disgusting. They have a perfectly capable quarterback in Charlie Frye. Even NFL analysts say Frye is an unproven commodity in terms of his potential because the team has not protected him, has not put a decent running game around him and has not installed an offensive system that utilizes his strengths. The receivers he throws to, aside from Winslow and usually Joe J., drop the ball WAY TOO OFTEN. And yet, somehow, Frye finished with the second-best completion percentage in team history. He's mobile. And he's teachable.
Quarterback was NOT a position of need, despite what the critics say. At no other position in football are you at the mercy of your teammates than at quarterback. If they're not blocking, if the receivers aren't running crisp routes, if the lack of a good ground game frequently puts you at third and long, you're not going to be effective. Quinn will learn that real quick. And he'll play early in the season; there will be too much pressure not to. And that's a mistake.
The new GM/coach who takes over in 2008, after Cleveland cans Romeo following a 1-5 start and Phil following another dismal year, will probably clean house, so don't get too attached to the remaining players the Browns draft this weekend.