Browns’ QB gradings mystify NFL analyst
Number of times opponents have advanced the ball inside the Washington Redskins’ 20-yard line. They’ve scored every time: 13 touchdowns and nine field goals. Green Bay is the only other defence allowing a 100% red-zone scoring rate (14 TDs and five field goals in 19 visits).
“You played the best game any quarterback has ever played against us, and we’ve played all the legends.”
— Richard Sherman, Seahawks CB, recalling what he said (per MMQB) to Houston QB Deshaun Watson after last Sunday’s game, in which the rookie became the first NFLer to throw for 400 yards and four TDs, plus run for 50 yards, in a single game. Four days later Watson blew out his right ACL and is done for the year. NFL Network’s top draft analyst Mike Mayock a year ago rated Carson Wentz not just the No. 1 quarterback but the No. 1 overall player in the 2016 NFL draft. The quarterback-starved Cleveland Browns could have taken him No. 2 but passed, and traded down to let the Philadelphia Eagles select him. One of the club’s chief talent evaluators later said Wentz wasn’t even a top-25 talent. This year, Mayock rated Deshaun Watson as the No. 1 quarterback in the draft. Cleveland could have selected him No. 1 overall but didn’t, nor even at No. 12 overall — and was so sure Watson was unworthy of so high a pick, the Browns traded that selection to the Houston Texans, who happily grabbed Watson. The Browns settled for DeShone Kizer with the 52nd overall selection and he has a long way to go to become a Watson or a Wentz, who co-lead the NFL at the midway point with 19 touchdown throws apiece. (Alas, Watson on Thursday tore his right ACL and is done for the year.) What were, and are, the Browns possibly thinking with these moves? “Hey, I’m not trying to rip the Browns,” Mayock said in a phone interview this week. “They’re going to do it their own way. All I can tell you is that I thought the Carson Wentz evaluation was simple. “I don’t know what the Browns are, or aren’t, doing. I can only give you my philosophy … which is that every day you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you’re another day closer to getting fired. And you’re not in the position to pass on a franchise quarterback, IF that’s the grade you have on him. “So I don’t know what their grades were on (2016 No. 1 overall pick) Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and (2017 No. 2 overall pick) Mitch Trubisky. That’s in their building. All I can tell you is that if you don’t have one, and you’ve got a grade on a kid who’s a franchise quarterback, you better get him when you can. As opposed to trying to wait a year or two for a particular player, or a particular class, or trying to accumulate draft picks so you have a thousand draft picks. My perspective is, if you have a need and there’s a kid there this year that you can go get, you’d better go get him.”