CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – A year ago, the Browns were the center of the quarterback world when it came to pre-draft workouts.
There was new head coach Hue Jackson in the middle of Jared Goff’s and Carson Wentz’s pro day while then associate head coach-offense Pep Hamilton wielded the most famous water bottle in league history for all to see on NFL Network, who provided the play-by-play.
This year, Hamilton has moved on to Michigan and Jackson is leaving the pro days to the scouting department. The wet football test will have to wait.
Jackson along with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown skipped Deshaun Watson’s pro day last week at Clemson and Mitchell Trubisky’s pro day Tuesday at North Carolina. ESPN reported that no NFL head coaches were on hand Tuesday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Before the masses assemble with pitchforks at the gates in Berea with feigned outrage over Brown’s and or Jackson’s absence, not only are the Browns well represented on the road but they have held or will hold their own private workouts with all the top prospects, including quarterbacks.
Just not in view of the world to see.
Jackson is heavily involved and expected to provide Brown with significant input in the pursuit of a franchise quarterback. He has said so on numerous occasions.
Last March, Robert Griffin III blew Jackson away during a private workout that ultimately led the Browns to sign him and saw the team then trade the No. 2 overall pick and chance to draft Carson Wentz to Philadelphia.
Wentz completed more passes than any other rookie QB in NFL history while starting all 16 games for the Eagles last season. Griffin underwhelmed, missed 11 weeks due to a shoulder injury and was released earlier this month.
So workouts aren’t the be all end all.
As there seems to be every year, there are conflicting opinions on this year’s crop of college quarterbacks and no definitive option available.
Trubisky, a Mentor, Ohio native, only started 13 games for the Tar Heels, which came this past season, and some consider him too raw and not ready to play in 2017. As for Watson, there are questions as to whether or not his skills will translate to the NFL despite beating Alabama to win a national championship in January.
Cleveland holds the No. 1 pick in the draft which they are expected to use on Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. They also own picks No. 12, 33, 52 and 65 overall among their 11 total selections in the upcoming draft.
Some believe Watson and Trubisky won’t even be available at 12 but there is also the possibility the Browns might be able to spend some of the 8 combined first- and second-round picks they’ve accumulated in the next 2 drafts in a trade with New England for Patriots back up QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes, Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer and Cal’s Davis Webb are also intriguing prospects but none are sure fire, can’t miss finished products.