Thursday is the NFL draft. And for Browns fans, it’s the equivalent of the Super Bowl. The team that went 0-16 last season has the first and fourth picks. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says there's been a lot of speculation and rumors about who the Browns will select, but it’s fairly safe to say it will be a quarterback.
The ghosts of drafts past
Pluto says fans are nervous heading into this draft, because year after year, the team ends up getting it wrong. He flashes back to several draft busts, including defensive end Courtney Brown, selected with the No. 2 pick in 2000; Kellen Winslow, Jr., picked sixth in 2004 over Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; and, in 2012, running back Trent Richardson with the third pick.
New General Manager John Dorsey is running this year's draft, and Pluto has confidence in the veteran. Still, he says, "When you come to the Browns, you inherit the sins of your predecessors."
Pluto says picking a quarterback is a no-brainer.
"You're at the top of the draft; you look at all the quarterbacks and you don't have to wait and wonder what all the other teams are going to do. If I'm John Dorsey, my fate is in my hands with the quarterbacks. You pick the one you like."
The top four quarterbacks:
1. Josh Rosen, UCLA
Rosen is Pluto's favorite among quarterbacks in the draft. "He's the best pure passer and he's NFL-ready." But, Pluto notes that many have knocked Rosen for a photo that surfaced showing a hot tub in his room at UCLA. Still, Pluto says he's more concerned about the two concussions Rosen suffered last year.
2. Sam Darnold, USC
Pluto says Darnold is 6'2"and 220 lbs. and has a good arm. "Some people think he could develop. But the turnovers bother me. He had 13 interceptions and nine fumbles last season. We just watched that [last year] with DeShone Kizer."
3. Josh Allen, Wyoming
At 6'5" and 230 lbs., Pluto says Allen is the perfect NFL physical specimen. "He's got an extremely strong arm but he's not accurate. If you're saying, 'I could wait a year and work with this kid,' I could see the Browns liking him."
4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Pluto says Mayfield is an extremely accurate passer and he has some charisma. "Some people say he's like a 'Johnny Manziel Jr.,' but I don't know that I'd go that far. He's colorful."
Just pick one
Pluto says he's not sure who the Browns will pick, but doesn't think the team will do what some fans are suggesting -- selecting two quarterbacks at No. 1 and No. 4.
"The Browns have their starter in Tyrod Taylor, who led the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs last season. They have another veteran, Drew Stanton. You don't bring two rookies into that situation. The idea is to bring in one rookie to play behind Taylor. The other quarterback will mentor some. And there's no need to rush him."