DALLAS — The Cleveland Browns have the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
It is not likely that the Browns will trade the first overall pick to another team since there seems to be a mandate to draft a franchise quarterback.
If the team doesn’t sign a veteran, they could draft Josh Allen with the number one pick.
Allen is similar to Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz in terms of his playing style. He is a big, mobile quarterback with a strong arm. Allen has the escape ability to make defenders miss on sack attempts. He can also generate yards by running for first downs. Another dual threat running back is no fun for defenses.
He is another small school dark horse like Wentz (North Dakota State, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Miami, Ohio) and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (Delaware).
Experts, NFL front office personnel and scouts often make the mistake of assuming that small school quarterbacks do not belong in the NFL. What kind of competition do small school quarterbacks play against? He played against Iowa and Boise State in the 2017 season.
Let’s not forget Roethlisberger and Flacco won Super Bowls. Wentz could do the same assuming he returns to full health and doesn’t regress. Allen has the potential to lead the Browns to the team’s first Super Bowl title.
Experts may also question the stats. Allen passed for 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Why should Allen be in the NFL at all? Is he another project quarterback? These counterarguments seem pointless after watching the game film. Look at his size, mobility, grace under duress, strong arm and ability to escape defenders.
Why pass up a 6-5, 233 pound quarterback? Say it with me “Do not make the same mistake.” “Do not pass on the next Carson Wentz.” Does anyone want go back in time and make a better attempt to trade for Wentz? Please don’t discredit the question by mentioning the ACL tear.
There is great news. The Browns no longer have to live with regret. You can say Allen is reach at number one. However, there is no guarantee that he will be available at four. The Browns need to make a decision.
Exposure is often the key to getting the attention of NFL Scouts. Part of the scouts’ job is to build relationships with universities. It is time for these experts to give small schools the big school love. After all, there is a division four team in Ohio that is gaining notoriety for producing NFL talent. If Mount Union can produce NFL greatness, so can Wyoming.
This is sort of nitpicking can backfire. Wentz played like a MVP before the ACL tear and Flacco won a Super Bowl. Why continue to make the same mistake of passing on dynamic small-school quarterbacks?