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2020 NFL Draft

National analysts opinions differ on what Browns should do with No. 2 pick

At the NFL Combine last week, Browns coach Hue Jackson was adamant the team will take the best player available, regardless of position

Of course, with the second and 32nd picks in April's draft, the options for Cleveland are almost endless. And considering Jackson has spoken of the need to rebuild the franchise through the draft, this is something of a critical first step toward that goal.

"I think to build a sustainable team, it's going to start in the draft room," Jackson said last Wednesday in Indianapolis. "We're going to have to draft some really good football players in order to put on our team now and to get us where we need to be."

Perhaps that starts at quarterback, as national analysts across the country agreed the Browns might have the chance to steady a position that has given the franchise headaches over the last decade.

"We've been around long enough to know that if the team doesn't have a franchise quarterback, it's not going to go very far," ESPN national correspondent Sal Paolantonio said.

But who might that franchise quarterback be? There doesn't appear to be much of a consensus.

What is clear, however, are which players might fit such a bill.

With another combine in the books, California's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz seemed to separate themselves as the best quarterbacks in this year's draft class. Goff, who helped turn around the Golden Bears during his time in Berkeley, appears to be the more polished passer while Wentz, who led the Bison to back-to-back FCS national titles as a starter, might have more raw ability.

"I think both will be first-round picks," said Rich Gannon, the former Pro Bowl quarterback who's now working as an analyst for CBS Sports.

NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell was complimentary of both Goff and Wentz, noting their talents and potential drawbacks.

"I think you see a kid who's pretty refined for a college quarterback. And I didn't really know much about him when I put in the tape," Cosell said of Goff, who was the key cog in a pass-heavy spread offense under Cal coach Sonny Dyke known as the "air-raid."

"I don't really know much about the air-raid offense — you don't see that much in the NFL — and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of intermediate and downfield throws that I saw on film. He was not just dinking and dunking the ball. He was progression reading … he moved his feet with his eyes, and if you can picture that, that's really, really critical. Goff had a really nice pocket feel for moving his feet and his body.

Cosell added: "There's a lot more pros with me with Goff than cons. He seems like a smart player, an aware player. He understands his offense really well. People always say, well he's in an offense that doesn't translate well. Almost no college offense truly translates to the NFL. So what I try to look at is how well he understands the concepts he's been coached to execute."

Cosell said he thinks Wentz is the "more physically gifted player," pointing to his arm strength and athleticism. "I'm not going to sit here and say he's Andrew Luck, but you see some of those traits," he said.

ESPN analyst John Clayton offered a similar perspective, describing the right quarterback as a matter of "individual taste."

"They want the fastest quarterback who can come up there, and if Hue has that guy, then he's got to do that," Clayton said.

"The one thing is Hue has to suggest something that's going to work for him, the team and the franchise. Because it's important. It's a quarterback-driven league and they have the best options to get the best quarterbacks — which one they take? We're all trying to figure that out."

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