It’s no secret that the Browns are looking for answers at the quarterback position. Last year was an up and down season plagued with incompetence and injuries in equal measure, and entering the 2017 season the Browns are still looking to find their starter.
There are three players competing: Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler.
The case for Cody Kessler is a pretty simple one. He’s accurate, has proven that he can play at a game manager type level and made a few key throws in his rookie season. The injuries were a problem, but he was facing pressure on a massive number of his dropbacks, which has to be factored in when one is talking about his rookie performance.
Kessler has reportedly been trying to bulk up in the offense. He has a year under his belt and it would be interesting to see what he turns into if he’s given another opportunity. That being said, many people seem to have Kessler labeled as a proficient backup level quarterback, nothing more. He has a long way to go before anyone would consider him close to a franchise guy, and with a big quarterback-heavy draft coming up the Browns don’t really have the luxury of playing someone that won’t be their guy going forward.
Here’s where it gets interesting; all the draft experts had Kizer as a guy with a lot of potential, but as someone who needed some coaching to become NFL ready. Most the signs were pointing to Kizer not playing right away, but more recently there’s been some positive buzz around how he’s looking.
The best throws I saw at Browns minicamp today were thrown by DeShone Kizer.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) June 13, 2017
DeShone Kizer to Rashard Higgins over the middle, then front of the end zone for a TD to cap 2 min drive; quality throws from the rookie QB
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) June 15, 2017
It helps that he’s 6’4’’ and 233, right in the mold of a typical AFC North quarterback.
One thing seems to be sure, and that’s that Kizer is going to see some playing time this year. Why?
This next draft class is reputed to have a healthy crop of young quarterbacks, and the Browns need to know whether or not they have to go for another early-round quarterback. They’re probably going to draft one anyways; at this point they can’t afford not to. That being said, if Kizer can show some flashes of franchise quarterback potential it will greatly impact the draft strategy moving forward.
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Time will tell whether the news coming out of camp about Osweiler is legitimate or not. Word from camp is that he’s exceeded the (admittedly rather low) expectations up to this point, and he’s in serious contention for the starting job.
Brock Osweiler has impressed. One Browns player privately predicted he "wouldn't be surprised if Brock is QB1 heading into camp in July."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2017
I’ve heard Brock has been excellent, as well. Yes, it’s OTAs. But at least, they are getting more out of him than anticipated. https://t.co/5H74T3VKTx
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 31, 2017
Osweiler is one of those players that should remained heavily scrutinized until he proves it in game. He crumbled under pressure in Houston last year, so even if he outperforms in camp with the Browns, he’ll need to show he can get it done in actual game scenarios.
With all that being said, Osweiler’s reported improvement is only a good thing for fans. When the Browns got him in the trade with the Texans, many people thought that there was a chance he wouldn’t even make the final roster. Even if he doesn’t start for the Browns this season, he’s starting to redeem himself from the abysmal season he had last year, which means he’s worth more on the market. Come October, when injuries start to set in around the league, Brock Osweiler may fetch a pretty penny should the Browns choose to trade him.