INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns are going to draft a quarterback in April and they’ll probably use the first pick in the draft to do it too.
But that doesn’t mean the rookie will start.
“I would hope not,” Jackson said Wednesday morning. “I would hope there’s other things. There are going to be other opportunities as we all know. We have free agency right upon us as well. We also have opportunities of the quarterbacks that are on our football team right now. Again, we’ve just got to see how it all fits as we move forward.”
Jackson expects the Browns to be aggressive in free agency in adding an experienced veteran to at least start this season.
“That’s kind of how you want your room set up,” Jackson said. “You want a guy who’s been a veteran player that’s played in the National Football League that’s had a chance to win. You’d love to have a young player that you’re developing, maybe two of those kind of players in your room, and again, normally the veteran is somebody that those players can learn from; to learn the National Football League so that they can understand what the rigors are. When they’re ready to play the veteran kind of moves on. That’s what you hope to have.
“I just think that’s a really good room. Sometime you can’t get that. Sometime you don’t have that and you have to make due with what you have.”
Having a highly drafted quarterback hovering in the background might pose problems in the recruitment process but Jackson doesn’t see it as the deterrent a veteran might.
“I hope not,” Jackson said. “Again, it’s a question I’m sure we’ll have to deal with, but at the same time, I think there’s only 32 of these, right? So if you have an opportunity to become a starter, why not take the position and don’t let it go? Just because you draft another quarterback doesn’t mean that the guy’s going to play. I think you got to make sure that if it’s the right fit for you, if it’s the right opportunity, you think it’s best, go do it.”
Another problem in the recruitment process is the fact that the Browns are coming off of an 0-16 season and are 1-31 over the last 2. Combine that with the perception that after starting 28 different QBs since 1999 Cleveland is a death sentence getting the top veteran on their wish list might be difficult.
“I think it’s going to come from relationships that John has, relationships that I have, relationships that our other coaches have because, you said it, some people are going to feel like they’re taking a chance,” Jackson said. “At the same time, what a tremendous opportunity to get this organization running in the right direction at this particular point in time.”
The Browns will meet this week with Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, who are all in the running to go No. 1 to Cleveland, this week in Indianapolis.
“I think the most important part is being able to sit in front of them and talk to them because you haven’t been able to do that,” Jackson said. “I think it’s really about getting to know them as people and being able to dig into all of the medical things that you need to but be able to really put a face with a name.
“You ask them questions that you’ve always wanted to ask.”