The Cleveland Browns have given up hope on acquiring New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo, but were expected to keep trying as we get closer to the draft. The Browns have said they will not give up the #1 overall pick for Garoppolo because every presumed Cleveland was going to select Texas A&M superstar EDGE Myles Garrett.
Or so we thought.
This latest report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter must be linked to the Browns continuing attempts at swiping Garoppolo, because no team would be so reckless as to pass up on Garrett.
Just had an NFL exec tell me, "Don't be surprised if Myles Garrett isn't the No. 1 pick." Exec convinced a QB is in discussion at No. 1.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 12, 2017
Cleveland has not made up its mind at No. 1, per source. Split opinions. Some like Myles Garrett, some like Mitchell Trubisky. We will see.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 12, 2017
An NFL exec told Schefter that the Browns are actually thinking about passing over Garrett in favor of UNC QB Mitchell Trubisky. This has to be a leverage play against st the Patriots to show that Cleveland is willing to go in a different direction at quarterback, right?
Trubisky is a fine prospect with good accuracy in the face of pressure, but he has only played 13 games in college. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock considers Trubisky to be “similar” to Garoppolo coming out of college, meaning that Trubisky needs some time to develop, and doesn’t consider him a top 10 prospect.
A quarterback has gone first overall in 14 of the past 20 drafts and guess how many had 13 or fewer career starts?
None. Zero. Cam Newton started 14 games, but he also won the National Championship, earned the Heisman Trophy over then-Stanford QB Andrew Luck, and was named First Team All American. Every other quarterback taken first overall had two or more years as a starter.
Trubisky’s Tar Heels went 8-5 one season after finishing 11-3.
For the Browns that are so focused on incorporating analytics into their team-building decisions, this fact can’t have escaped them. They must also be aware of Football Outsiders’ QBASE or Bill Parcells’ 4 rules for drafting a quarterback, that aligns with the Lewin Model. Number of career college starts “is still the most important variable in the equation.”
Trubisky ranks atop Pro Football Focus’ quarterback prospect rankings, but there’s a negligible difference between Trubisky and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson- and Watson checks off far more boxes from an analytics perspective.
Which leads me to my conclusion that the Browns are totally going to take Garrett first overall and they’re putting out links to Trubisky for two reasons: to push back against the Patriots trade demands for Garoppolo and to muddy the waters in an attempt to have Watson fall to 12th overall.
Because there’s no way that the Browns will let Garrett get away...right?