COMMENTARY | Hopefully the comments made by Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer on February 21 are not prophetic.
Farmer alluded that the Browns may do the opposite of what most football pundits believe they will, and select a player other than a quarterback with the No. 4 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. To say that this would be a foolish decision is a massive understatement in my opinion. These are three reasons why the Browns absolutely must draft a quarterback with their first pick this May:
Quarterback Is The Greatest Positional Need For The Browns
This is the most obvious reason, as Cleveland's struggles at the quarterback position have become a running joke in NFL circles over the years.
The signal-callers that will be available in free agency this offseason aren't the most tantalizing group of players, and Brian Hoyer, who gave Browns fans a glimmer of hope early on in 2013 is currently rehabbing a torn ACL. There's no doubt that Cleveland has quite a few other positional needs that need to be addressed if they hope to be competitive this fall, but the quarterback position is the one that needs to be taken care of with the No. 4 pick.
A Quarterback Could Be The Best Player Available At That Spot
A strategy that some teams employ is to draft the so-called "best player available" with a selection.
Well, in this years draft, the best available player for the Browns will likely be a quarterback.
Quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Johnny Manziel are at the top of most mock drafts for a reason -- they are the real deal. If these three players perform at the level that they are capable of at the NFL combine, they will almost certainly all be top five selections in the draft. With the St. Louis Rams seemingly unlikely to select a quarterback with the No. 2 pick, the Browns should get a chance to draft one of these three signal-callers.
It's Time For The Browns To Roll The Dice On A Quarterback With Their First Selection
For a team with as many quarterback issues as the Browns have had over the last 15 years, they haven't been too concerned about addressing the position in the draft.
When the Browns drafted Tim Couch with the first overall pick in 1999, it marked the only time in which Cleveland has spent their top draft pick on a quarterback since returning to the NFL. The Browns have generally acquired quarterbacks through free agency, or in the middle rounds of the draft. The two exceptions to this rule would be Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden, who were both selected with the second of two first round picks that Cleveland possessed in their respective drafts. Cleveland needs to abandon this losing strategy of acquiring quarterbacks by selecting one with the No. 4 pick.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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