Tim Couch, the last quarterback to be taken by the Browns with the No. 1 overall pick, knows Cleveland is poised to end that drought in less than two weeks.
Following the first winless season in team history, the Browns hope to land their future face of the franchise in the upcoming NFL Draft. And Couch, who recently reconnected with the club after a long absence, believes his former team has a talented group of signal-callers to choose from.
"All those guys are certainly capable of leading a football team," Couch said on Cleveland Browns Daily last week. "It's just about who's the right fit for your team and what you're trying to do offensively. That's what it's really all about."
Couch, who will help call the Browns' preseason games this fall, said he's been particularly impressed by USC's Sam Darnold and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, two passers who might fit that bill.
He described Darnold, the 20-year-old from Southern California, as perhaps the safest pick of the bunch.
"He's got everything you look for," Couch said of Darnold, who's been linked to the Browns for months by draft analysts. "I don't think he gets too high or too low and I think it's going to be a rough start. This is an 0-16 football team you're walking into. You're going to have a guy who has mental fortitude and go through the ups and downs and handle adversity. That's tough for a young quarterback to handle those situations, but I think he really stands out to me."
Mayfield, meanwhile, was the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and has earned high marks for his toughness, competitiveness and leadership.
"I think Baker is super talented, I think he might be a little bit of a risky pick," Couch said, referencing Mayfield's on-field outbursts and arrest for public intoxication last spring. "But talent-wise the kid can play."
Couch added Mayfield's fiery approach to the game might not be a bad thing for a team in search of competitors. "That's a great quality to have when you're coming into a team that didn't win a game ago," he said.
Darnold and Mayfield are among several passers the Browns have hosted on pre-draft visits. Cleveland has also brought in UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Louisville's Lamar Jackson in their ongoing evaluation of the position.
Couch, who played five seasons in Cleveland after being forced into action as a rookie, also approved of the team's plan to sit whomever it drafts at quarterback behind veteran Tyrod Taylor. Though that might be tough for a young passer to understand at first, "you have to realize maybe it's not the best time to be out there because you can break a young guy's confidence in this league real quick at quarterback," Couch said.
"You get out there and start turning the football over a lot, you start losing games and those losses pile up, you can start questioning yourself. It happened to me, it happens to a lot of young players."
Couch said he believes general manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson, whom he briefly met at the facility last week, will do whatever's best for the team.
"I think they'll make the right pick," he said.