It’s a sad thing for a fan base to be thinking ahead to the first overall pick in an NFL draft that’s 13 months away, but in Cleveland there’s already talk that the best option for a Browns franchise quarterback may be USC’s Matt Barkley in the 2013 draft.
The Browns have had a Top 7 pick in the first round for four years in a row, by virtue of going either 4-12 or 5-11 each of the last four years, and unless they take Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill this year, they won’t have used any of those Top 7 picks on quarterbacks. Even though they need a quarterback. So Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository notes that that with the Browns missing out on trading up for Robert Griffin III, and not signing a free agent quarterback, it may be down to doing the best they can to build around Colt McCoy this year, with an eye toward drafting Barkley next year if things don’t work out with McCoy.
It’s obviously way too soon to say how next year’s NFL draft will play out, but Barkley will head into the 2012 college football season as the early favorite to be the top pick. And the Browns obviously hope McCoy will turn out to be a good starting quarterback who can lead them to more than five wins for the first time since 2007.
But in this offseason’s game of quarterback musical chairs, the Browns look like they’re going to be left standing when the music stops. And that would leave them stuck with what they have this year, and hoping things turn out differently next year.