There is a lot of doubt in the quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft this year. ESPN's Todd McShay warned that teams should proceed with caution when it comes to banking on a rookie to take over a franchise in 2016. While Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch and Carson Wentz are the highest-rated options, they are no guarantee to be a success story. That is a concern for the Cleveland Browns who need a new quarterback. With doubt in the draft, will they turn to free agency for help?
Hue Jackson told the media that he will explore all options at the quarterback position. That means free agency and trades will not be ruled out. With the No.2 pick in the NFL Draft, the Browns have some flexibility and they could eye a trade deal to get someone that is an immediate starter. Could Colin Kaepernick be an option?
According to the New York Daily News, Kaepernick is unhappy in San Francisco and wants a trade. The only way the quarterback is likely departing the 49ers is by way of a trade meaning he does not get to control the landing spot. The Browns could take a chance on Kaepernick. He comes with NFL experience and proven success. 2015 was not the best year for the quarterback meaning Cleveland fans might not be ok with the idea, but a change of scenery could do the quarterback some good.
Robert Griffin III could fall in the same boat. The Washington Redskins are prepared to release the quarterback in free agency. A change of scenery could be all he needs to regain the form he had his rookie season. Griffin has proven he can be a talent in the NFL and there will be a team that takes a chance on signing him. Cleveland could be that team.
The Browns have options with Josh McCown on the roster. Jackson and McCown have spoken since the coach was hired and the veteran is not a bad option to place under center Week 1. Having McCown means the Browns could take a chance on drafting a quarterback and let them develop for a year. Goff or Wentz might not be ready to start Week 1, but give them a year learning behind a savvy veteran and they could turn into something better for the Browns.
The idea of waiting cannot be ruled out either. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, while it is not a guarantee, the idea of holding off and drafting someone like Deshaun Watson or Baker Mayfield should be considered. The Browns could easily play McCown next season and then try to get one of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 Draft. The stock of Watson and Mayfield will be much higher than that of Goff or Wentz. While it might mean one more down season for the team, the two quarterbacks could be set for long-term success.