Did that really just happen? Did the Browns really take an offensive lineman with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft, just like I had been pressing for? (They must have read my columns) Then did they really trade back into the first round and take Brady Quinn at No. 22? Wow. Impressive. For the Browns to come away from this draft with two top-five talented players is simply impressive.
If you’ve read my other columns, you know I didn’t want the Browns to take Brady Quinn. I think that feeling was summed up in the “Please, Please, Please, Browns, don’t pick Brady Quinn” column from Friday. But that was going on the notion of the Browns only getting one player. With Joe Thomas upfront to anchor the offensive line, Quinn has a chance to be Donovan McNabb, not Tim Couch.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
I say has a chance because let’s not get a head of ourselves. This is still Cleveland. Thomas and Quinn have all the potential in the world but they are headed to Cleveland where we kind of have a history of people coming here and falling flat on their face, or knees off a motorcycle.
I feel like I have to explain myself about me not wanting Brady Quinn. It wasn’t that I thought Quinn was going to be a bad player, in fact I think he could be a Pro Bowler. My problem with drafting Quinn was he wasn’t going to turn around the Browns by himself. Now that Cleveland as Quinn with someone to protect him, I like that he is in Cleveland. To recap; Quinn by himself = not good for the Browns. Quinn + Thomas = very good for the Browns. And yes, one player on the offensive line, at the most important position, makes all the difference.
I like how aggressive Phil Savage was in the draft. He did what was necessary to get Thomas and Quinn but then stayed just as aggressive. After trading away his second round pick, Savage worked another deal to get UNLV cornerback Eric Wright. For once, a Cleveland team didn’t sit still and hope for the best. They went out and made the best happen. Normally on draft days, the Browns are a washover in the national media. Not this year. They are the lead story, and how could they not be. No one thought anyone would walk away with two top players and the Browns did that. Yes, they gave up a lot to pick Quinn but it was worth it. Some are saying the first round pick they gave up is going to be a top 10 pick, and it has a good chance to be, but Cleveland, more than likely, would have used that pick on a quarterback of lesser value than Quinn. It’s a gamble that was well worth the risk. If Thomas and Quinn pan out to be what they should be, then this is the day that the Cleveland Browns are back on the NFL map.
Good work Phil. Thanks.
You know how they had a camera with Thomas on his boat while he was fishing with his dad? I wish they would have had one with Charlie Frye too. Imagine what his day was like. He comes into the day thinking the Browns might take Quinn to replace him. Instead they pick Thomas and he was probably the most excited person because now he had a decent line to block for him. You could hear the big sigh of relief coming from Frye. Than two hours later, as Chris Berman is reporting the Browns and Cowboys have reached a deal and the Browns will take Quinn, you could hear him slamming his head off the wall.
The pieces are there offensively now; Quinn at quarterback, Braylon Edwards, Joe Jurevicious and Kellon Winslow catching balls, Jamal Lewis running it and a line anchored by Thomas, Eric Steinbach and LeCharles Bentley (when and if he comes back). Now each of those guys just has to do what they are capable of doing. I find it silly that by just picking two players, everyone is hopefully that this 4-12 team can turn things around, but that is exactly what those two players have done. Thomas should make his impact right away and Quinn is a quick study and should be starting by October, if not sooner. Cleveland fans have always been excited about the Browns in the offseason looking forward to the new season. Usually it is just to tailgate, drink beer and talk trash but this year we have a legitimate football reason to be excited.