TheClevelandSound Posted March 21, 2010 Report Share Posted March 21, 2010 http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/...and_browns.html ORLANDO, Fla. -- With 12 picks in the April 22-24 NFL draft -- their most since 2000 -- the Browns can go in a number of directions in the first year of the Mike Holmgren-Tom Heckert era. There is no mystery about one thing. They will draft a quarterback. The president of the team is not shy about saying so. "It's just something we have to do," Holmgren said as he embarked on his first NFL owners meetings as president of the Browns. "Why wait? I'm 61. I don't want to wait for anyone. We're going to have to do this." But he knows the Browns aren't going anywhere, aren't turning the corner, until they find a young franchise quarterback. "I think Jake will make us better right away. But we have to find the next guy. That's what we have to do," he said. Holmgren likes Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, but believes St. Louis will make him the No. 1 pick of the draft. Although he said he would consider trading up for Bradford, he knows it's not realistic. As for the second-ranked quarterback in the draft, Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, Holmgren was characteristically honest. "I wish I liked him more," he said. "You know how you have a type of player that you like? It's not scientific. People like him a lot. He'll go high. But it would be hard for me [to take him]." Holmgren does like Tim Tebow of Florida, despite reservations about his throwing mechanics, and has invited him to a future private visit. He intends to do that with "four or five" quarterbacks before the draft. "But, here's the dilemma," he said. "There are areas of the football team that we really have to help -- the secondary, offensive line -- to get the team better. This year it would be pretty hard to use the second [round] pick to get a quarterback. It would be pretty hard for me. "Next year might be easier. We've got [three picks in the third round and four in the fifth round] going for us. But I'd have to have another second-round pick [to take a quarterback in the second round]." So more than likely, Holmgren will scour the passers in the next rung after Bradford and Clausen and choose one anytime after the Browns' first two picks. A trade-up into the mid- to low-second round is possible. Considering his reputation as a quarterback guru, it might surprise some to know that in 17 seasons as a head coach in Green Bay and Seattle, Holmgren never drafted a quarterback in the first or second round. In Green Bay, Holmgren had the benefit of coaching the sport's all-time QB iron man, Brett Favre. In seven years, Favre never missed a game and took the Packers to two Super Bowls and a regular-season record of 84-42. But Holmgren was always on the lookout for young quarterbacks. He and General Manager Ron Wolf drafted a quarterback six times in Holmgren's seven seasons. "We were [always] drafting later," Holmgren said. "Usually if it's a franchise quarterback, you're going to have to make that decision in the first 10 picks, probably, to get the guy you really covet. Once you're not drafting up in there, unless you're willing to trade to get up in there, you have to kind of look at it differently. "What we did was say, 'OK, we're going to draft later. Let's do our homework and if we see a guy we like and we think we can develop, take him.' And it worked pretty well." Three of the six quarterbacks Wolf and Holmgren drafted went on to be long-time starters with other teams -- Ty Detmer (ninth round), Mark Brunell (fifth) and Matt Hasselbeck (sixth). When Holmgren left Green Bay to be Seattle's coach and general manager, he later traded for Hasselbeck. Holmgren's record choosing quarterbacks in Seattle was not as good. He drafted one in four of his first five seasons in Seattle. None became a starter and the only one still playing is Wallace, now with the Browns. He is a former coach who believes taking a flier on a quarterback in the sixth round is more prudent than drafting a player destined for a career on special teams. "Why not?" Holmgren said. "I haven't talked to Heckert about it specifically. But I think it's a good idea. Certainly this year. We've got 12 picks. Goodness gracious, if we don't pop early, why not? So let's do our research. "If we don't get the guy we decide we really want, now we go to Plan B and try to get the next guy we try to develop. If you believe that [a player has potential], we take him. If he doesn't get there, we do the same thing next year. The same thing in two years. But we keep doing it." Unless something unexpected happens, the Browns probably won't find their franchise quarterback in this draft. But it won't be from lack of trying. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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