NFL Draft Rumors: Why Cleveland Is Smart to Avoid Drafting a Quarterback
The Cleveland Browns have reportedly re-affirmed their commitment to quarterback Colt McCoy once again, which means they probably won't be selecting a signal-caller in the 2012 NFL Draft. Given their current roster situation and the players available in this year's draft, that is the right move.
Browns head coach Pat Shurmur told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the team is set to move forward with McCoy as the team's starting quarterback. He added that he believes the Texas product will benefit from a full offseason in the team's system.
There had been speculation that the Browns could use one of their two first-round picks to take Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is considered the third-best signal-caller in this year's draft. The Browns will reportedly bring him in for a visit, but that doesn't mean the team will end up selecting him.
Tannehill has a ton of questions surrounding his ability, and given that he only played under center for one-and-a-half years in college, Cleveland might as well just gamble that McCoy will improve.
With those top two first-round selections, the Browns could pick up pieces to help McCoy. At No. 4 I think they should snag Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Richardson is the best back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson in 2007, and he should make an instant impact. The addition of a true every down running back who is versatile enough to be deployed in pass protection and as a receiver out of the backfield will take pressure off McCoy.
The team needs receivers as well, so Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon is a possibility at No. 4, but Richardson will provide much better value the minute he steps onto an NFL field. He has the chance to be special very early in his career, and that would make McCoy's job easier immediately.
The Browns acquired the 22nd pick in this year's first round from the Atlanta Falcons on draft day last year and should have plenty of options with it. They could try to add the best available receiver or offensive lineman. Both are areas of need and would help McCoy out tremendously.
Guys like Georgia guard/tackle Cordy Glenn, Ohio State tackle Mike Adams and Wisconsin center Peter Konz (who could also play guard) could be available, and Baylor receiver Kendall Wright could also still be on the board.
Either way they decide to go, surrounding McCoy with weapons is a better idea than bringing in someone like Tannehill, who would have to learn the system and probably sit and develop on the sidelines for at least a year.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe McCoy will develop into a franchise cornerstone—especially given how he has failed to develop at all during his two years in Cleveland. In 2011 McCoy ranked 26th in completion percentage out of the 34 quarterbacks who qualified league-wide. He also finished 25th in passing yards per game (210.2), 32nd in yards per attempt (5.9), 25th in passer rating (74.6) and 25th in QBR (39.8).
McCoy may be limited as an NFL quarterback, and he is unlikely to ever become a star. But given the options available to the Browns, sticking with him for another year is the right move.
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