Armed with 22 picks over the next two seasons the Cleveland Browns could have made real progress towards building a winner, but made one fatal flaw when they traded the 12th pick to the Houston Texans
The first overall pick was no mystery, even though the Cleveland Browns never wanted to come out and announce the pick. Everyone knew that Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett was going to be the choice despite their glaring need at the quarterback position. Then somehow the most accomplished quarterback in the draft was sitting there when the Browns were ready to pick again with the 12th overall selection.
Clemson quarterback Deshuan Watson made two appearances in the Nation Championships and was able to lead his team to the title in his final game. For his career Watson completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 10,168 yards with 90 touchdowns and 32 picks.
Watson had more time on the field than Mitchell Trubisky — drafted second overall by the Chicago Bears — and played against tougher competition on a regular basis than Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted 10th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. Arguably Watson is the most pro-ready player, and could be a day one starter.
That means Cleveland could have had the number one ranked player in Garrett and a starting quarterback with their first two picks. Instead, they traded the choice to the Houston Texans and watched them draft Watson, which was a huge mistake. Cleveland may have gained another first-round pick in the deal, but there’s no guarantee they will find a starter with that pick.
They also may be hesitant to after spending a second-rounder on Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer, who’s a project player that is most likely years away from starting.
Selecting Watson would have made much more sense. They would have had a starter in town now working on restoring the sad franchise to respectability. There were also several other picks they owned which could have allowed them to put the right pieces around the talented passer. While they obtained several extra picks by being shrewd with their assets, this was one trade too many and they should have just filled their card out this time.
Watson will probably beat out the competition in Houston and start right away. With a good roster around him, he could potentially be vying for a playoff spot with his team at the end of the year. Browns fans will be envious as another season without a quarterback will only be tougher when watching the one you should have gotten succeed.