Why trading for Tyrod Taylor was a big mistake + How the Browns can fix it

By Jaidev Pant
Mar. 11, 2018

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday March 10, the Cleveland Browns made 3 trades, which was unexpected because the team had only made 4 trades from March 9, 2017 to March 8, 2018. The organization probably believed that they needed to change their philosophy and start accumulating actual players instead of prospects who aren’t guaranteed stars. Usually, I would agree with this strategy and I did when the Browns sent a 2018 4th round pick and a 2019 seventh round pick for Jarvis Landry. I thought that this move was great, as the Browns now had a solid receiving duo in Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry. I actually thought that the Browns had figured out the formula and were going to be successful in the 2018 draft and in the offseason. However, the Browns betrayed my trust and traded the 65th pick in the 2018 NFL draft for Tyrod Taylor. I actually thought that the Browns would get it right this year and believed that they would take Darnold with the number one pick in the draft and Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 4th, but now they will not take Darnold and will choose Saquon Barkley instead. The Browns were desperate for a quarterback and were going to get a young quarterback with a bright future, but instead they are going to take the quarterback who was 25th in passing yards this season and had the 14th best qbr. Taylor isn’t winning you any playoff games, but there are quarterbacks in this draft who will. I mean Darnold was amazing this year and averaged nearly 295 passing yards per game and threw for 26 touchdowns with a below average offensive line. All of them are proven quarterbacks who have the talent to be great NFL quarterbacks. It doesn’t matter which quarterback the Browns took, whether it be Darnold, Rosen, Allen, or Baker. I am angry at the fact that the Browns would not choose a quarterback in one of the best quarterback classes in the last 5 years. Listen, I know that teams are afraid to take quarterbacks now because many of them end of becoming busts, but it is different when you have the number one pick. The last 6 quarterbacks taken with the number one pick are Jared Goff, Jameis Winston, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, and Matthew Stafford. 5 of them have made the pro bowl at least one time and the only exception is Sam Bradford, who has been a solid starter when he is not injured. We have seen that taking a quarterback with the 1st pick in the draft works, but the Browns refuse to see that. I don’t think that Saquon Barkley is a bad pick. In fact, I think that he is one of the best running back prospects we have seen in a while. However, taking a running back with the first pick is not a logical move. Running backs have the shortest career in the NFL and play 2.57 years on average, while quarterbacks have the 2nd longest career in the NFL and play 4.44 years on average. As an organization, you have to think about the future. Do you want to be an average playoff team for 3 years or be a dynasty like the Patriots? Quarterbacks translate to wins, not elite NFL running backs. Out of the top ten running backs in rushing yards, only 3 of them made it past the first round of the playoffs and they all had elite offensive lines. Saquon Barkley had a great offensive line at Penn State, which partially allowed him to be successful. He will not be inheriting that if he goes to Cleveland. Also, Saquon Barkley only put up 44 yards against the best defense he played all season, which means that he did not play well against the best teams. Sam Darnold showed that he had the ability to perform despite not having a great offensive line. Although both prospects are very talented, a team must take a quarterback with the 1st pick in a draft class like this. The Browns would make a mistake if they took Saquon Barkley with the first pick in the draft.

Even though I believe the Browns will most likely take Saquon Barkley, they may not and will instead choose Tyrod Taylor to be the quarterback for the transitional period until their prospect is ready. I think that this would be the best move for the Browns because you just cannot pass up on the QB talent in this draft. In fact, I think that they should try to trade Tyrod somewhere else because then they will get some value out of him. We will see on April 26 whether the Browns made the right decision in drafting a quarterback or take Saquon Barkley instead.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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