Okay, so yesterday I tried to give you the Browns’ QB options without any personal opinion or bias. Today I’m going to give you my take on how the options stack up against one another. Feel free to rage and disagree with me.
9. Michael Vick
Injury prone, slower than he was in his prime, and lacking much of the passing skills you want in a QB to build around, I hope the Browns pass on Vick entirely. He’s too old to plan the future around, too likely to be out half the season, and too lacking in passing mechanics to waste time on.
8. Mike Glennon
Don’t get me wrong, I like this kid. I wouldn’t even mind if the Browns drafted him a bit later and had him play 3rd string to develop for later. His size is a huge draw, but he is going to need a few years of solid coaching to develop into a starter. He’s not the answer for Week 1.
7. Gino Smith
I ranked Smith over Glennon only because I think Smith is going to be more ready for Week 1. Long term, I like Glennon’s upsides way more. Smith is going to get hurt. He’s just not built like Glennon. Especially in the cold north of First Energy Stadium, Smith wouldn’t last five years.
6. Brandon Weeden
I know, I know. Give him another year! Develop him! Blah, blah, blah. The reality is that he will be 30 this season. 30. He’s probably got some potential, but it’s not worth developing him to need to replace him in 3-5 years. We should move on now, not be wasting another full season on the wrong guy.
5. Ryan Mallett
Mallett is largely untested, but his basic skill set is the same as Weeden, just a whole lot younger, and a bit more athletic. He’s had a season to sit behind Brady and get at least some coaching from Bellichek, and that has to count for something. If the Browns are going to try Weeden again, in my opinion they should take the younger guy and trade for Mallett.
4. Matt Flynn
People forgot pretty quickly how sought-after Flynn was prior to landing in Seattle. Because of that, there is the potential that he can be gotten for a steal. He’s got the making of a pro level starter, and a pretty good one at that. Add in an elite coach of quarterbacks (Norv Turner & Chud, check) and Flynn could be really, really good. The big drawback here is that Flynn is going to want to get paid, maybe more than the Browns want for a largely untested QB.
3. Matt Barkley
His draft stock has tumbled, but his skill set has not magically disappeared. He’s worth a look depending on where he goes in the draft, as he’s realistically going to be ready to play on Week 1. His first season may not be perfect, but he’s got a much higher ceiling than Weeden. And frankly, if we’re chalking next season as a development year for Weeden (which we are), then we would do better spending it on a kid like Barkley who has much more potential to be a franchise QB.
2. Alex Smith
If the Browns want to win right now, Smith is by far the best option available. He’s not great, but he’s got experience and has shown that coupled with a strong run game (which the Browns will have with Richardson), he can manage drives and avoid costly mistakes (read: turnovers). He will need to be paid, but could give the Browns 4-5 winning seasons.
1. Colt McCoy
This is shameless, I realize. I raged when the Browns drafted Weeden to replace McCoy. I raged because McCoy was young, showed a ton of promise his rookie year, and could have been a breakout star if he had a running game or anyone to throw to. I haven’t ever given up on McCoy. He’s still young, incredibly accurate, smart and a winner. His size shouldn’t be of concern, as he has less batted down passes per attempt than Weeden, and his speed and ability to run the read option if needed adds an additional dimension that Weeden lack. His deep ball isn’t as good, but Weeden’s lack of accuracy negates his big arm. McCoy can put together drives, spread the defense, and pick them apart with precision passing and timing routes. I doubt the Browns have the foresight to make the move back to McCoy, but it would be the move I made if I had the power.