A year ago, the Browns were the center of the quarterback world when it came to pre-draft workouts.
There was new head coach Hue Jackson in the middle of Jared Goff’s and Carson Wentz’s pro day while then associate head coach-offense Pep Hamilton wielded the most famous water bottle in league history for all to see on NFL Network, who provided the play-by-play.
This year, Hamilton has moved on to Michigan and Jackson is leaving the pro days to the scouting department. The wet football test will have to wait.
Jackson along with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown skipped Deshaun Watson’s pro day last week at Clemson and Mitchell Trubisky’s pro day Tuesday at North Carolina.
Before the masses assemble with pitchforks at the gates in Berea with feigned outrage, not only are the Browns well represented on the road but they have held or will hold their own private workouts with the quarterbacks.
Just not in view of the world to see.
Jackson is heavily involved and expected to provide Brown with significant input in the pursuit of a franchise quarterback. He has said so on numerous occasions.
Last March, Robert Griffin III blew Jackson away during a private workout that ultimately led the Browns to sign him and saw the team then trade the No. 2 overall pick and chance to draft Carson Wentz to Philadelphia.
Wentz completed more passes than any other rookie QB in NFL history while starting all 16 games for the Eagles last season. Griffin underwhelmed, missed 11 weeks due to a shoulder injury and was released earlier this month.
So workouts aren’t the be all end all.
As there seems to be every year, there are conflicting opinions on this year’s crop of college quarterbacks and no definitive option available.
Trubisky, a Mentor, Ohio native, only started 13 games for the Tar Heels, which came this past season, and some consider him too raw and not ready to play in 2017. As for Watson, there are questions as to whether or not his skills will translate to the NFL despite beating Alabama to win a national championship in January.
Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes, Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer and Cal’s Davis Webb are also intriguing prospects but none are sure fire, can’t miss finished products.
Cleveland holds the No. 1 pick in the