Recently, I wrote an article extolling the brilliance of Browns executive Mike Holmgren for selecting Texas quarterback Colt McCoy with the 85th pick of the NFL draft, and deflecting attention away from the Browns preceding picks by giving the fans what they wanted in a perceived franchise quarterback.
While doing so, I speculated that Holmgren may have been pacifying us with McCoy, while he implements his long term plan for success. According to new information released by the National Football Post and Rotoworld, I may have hit the nail on the head.
According to Rotoworld on: Colt McCoy
'The Browns' brass reportedly views third-round pick Colt McCoy, "more as a backup than a potential starter," and it is believed the Browns will heavily scout what is expected to be, a rich quarterback draft in 2011.
Jake Locker from Washington, Ryan Mallett from Arkansas. Andrew Luck from Stanford and Christian Ponder from Florida State are all considered first round talents.
The concerns from the Cleveland brass about McCoy are all the same as the ones we heard going into the draft. They revolve around his lack of arm strength, height, sidearm delivery and playing predominantly in the spread offense.
The Browns view McCoy as a long term project.'
According to the National Football Post's Michael Lombardi 5/02/10
"I know much has been made of the Colt McCoy pick by Cleveland, but in reality, this pick will not stop the Browns from drafting a quarterback next year.
McCoy is viewed more as backup than a potential starter by team brass. Expect the Browns to get involved in scouting the top QBs in the draft next year."
The Early Contenders
Washington's Jake Locker is considered the consensus number one pick next year. If we are in position to draft him we have suffered through a terrible season or have made a devil's bargain. He is a senior at Washington and is 6'3" 222 lbs.
He is an excellent athlete with a good arm who shows good poise and leadership.
Locker needs work on his reads and his overall strength. He plays in a pro-style offense which is a huge plus. He also can run a 4.40 40 yard dash.
Ryan Mallett of Arkansas is the Madden prototype, he is 6'7" 252 lbs, and has a cannon for an arm. He commands the offense, makes great reads, and has the most upside of any quarterback in next year's draft.
He is the least mobile of the elite quarterbacks and his footwork is shoddy. When he is in rhythm he is excellent, but when he falls out, it takes a while to find the groove again.
Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal is a gifted passer and student who diagnoses defenses better than anyone on the nation. He is 6'4", 235 lbs, and has an NFL arm.
A gifted scholar who majors in architectural design, Luck plays in a pro-style offense and is a redshirt sophomore. Luck had an excellent ratio of 13 TDs to four interceptions in 2009.
Christian Ponder , 6'2" 219 lbs, is the leader of the Florida State Seminoles and threw for 2,717 yards 14TDs and seven interceptions last year.
He is considered an excellent athlete who ran the fastest shuttle on the Seminoles team. Ponder doesn't have the best arm in the country but it is considered adequate.
There is no way to forecast the accuracy of the reports from Michael Lombardi and Rotoworld, but they generally have excellent reputations as both collectors and providers of information.
In the short term, the choice of McCoy reversed the perception of the direction of the Browns draft, and made Mike Holmgren an iconic figure in the minds of the Cleveland Browns fans.
If unbeknownst to him, a staff member has leaked to NFP or Rotoworld news of these plans and they are accurate, then the Browns have invested excessively in a back-up quarterback.