Skip to main content


'Fit' matters as Browns near final QB evaluations

The Browns' search for their quarterback of the future won't come down to whose arm is the strongest or who most looks the part of a prototypical, face-of-an-NFL-franchise signal-caller.

Instead, Cleveland believes the idea of "fit" will underscore whatever conclusion it draws about this year's class of passers.

"I think we all have a pretty good understanding of who the guys are, what they bring to the table," coach Hue Jackson said at the league's annual meeting in Orlando last month. "They're all very worthy candidates. They're all kind of different. But then again, we have to see what's the best fit for us."

That's been a buzzword the Browns have stressed with the league's draft a little more than two weeks away. Owners of the first and fourth picks, Cleveland is poised to end two decades of instability at the position and is in the process of hosting the class' top quarterbacks — a list that includes Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield — on pre-draft visits.

Before that, Jackson, general manager John Dorsey and a large contingent from the Browns' front office trekked across the country, meeting with those four prospects in back-to-back on-campus visits. The end result? It's clear each quarterback could bring something different to Cleveland.

For every strength, they have a weakness. For example, Allen, the once-unheralded Wyoming quarterback who can throw the ball 80-plus yards with ease, completed just 56 percent of his passes; Darnold, the USC star linked to the Browns at No. 1, struggled with turnovers last season; Rosen, who's considered the draft's best pure passer, has had to address questions about his passion for the game; and Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and one of college most-productive players, might rub some clubs the wrong way with an increasingly large chip on his shoulder.

"They're different personalities. None of these guys, one through four, are the same guy or similar in any way. Height, size, IQ, all of it," Jackson said. "They're all different. But there are some blue-collar guys in this draft that have the feel of Cleveland football. I'm not going to tell you which ones yet. But I do feel good about that we're going to find a quarterback in this group that can come in and help lead this organization in the future."

Those evaluations are ongoing and won't stop until the night of the draft April 26. Throughout the process, though, the Browns say they'll tune out external noise and focus on who's best suited to help turn their franchise around.

"There's something that we want. And I think all four of those guys have it. Maybe in different ways. You have to really bring that out of them but I think all four of those guys have what we want," Jackson said, adding, "Here are four guys, but within the four guys, we've got to determine what is the best fit for us moving forward."​

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content