After a week’s worth of practices, I think it’s clear that the quarterback competition for the Cleveland Browns is down to a two horse race.
Brock Osweiler vs DeShone Kizer
Not taking anything away from Cody Kessler who has been accurately throwing the ball throughout camp so far but based on how everyone is talking, you can clearly see the gap in talent.
Despite Kessler’s hard work during the offseason to get better, his arm strength is still his biggest weakness and it shows going up against Kizer and Osweiler.
That’s not to say that he can’t play in this league because he can. Kessler will be a solid backup and spot starter in this league for a long time which isn’t a bad thing.
Now starts the debate on who the starter will be.
I’m in favor of starting DeShone Kizer. While he’s raw as a prospect and still needs improvement, the second round pick has displayed the traits to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Letting him go out there from the start and make his mistakes will be a great learning experience. He’s shown from the day he was drafted that he’s willing to learn and correct his mistakes and that’s what you want out your quarterback.
Guys like Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston all started from the start and they didn’t have instant success but being out on the field helped them learn from their mistakes and helped make them better quarterbacks in the NFL.
I think his biggest thing he needs to work on is his accuracy.
Jason Gibbs of ESPN Cleveland and the Browns Radio Network has been keeping track of the quarterback stats since the start of camp.
While it doesn’t really mean anything, Kizer has completed 51% of his snaps. He completed 60% of his passes in two years at Notre Dame. Kizer needs to work on his timing and chemistry with the receivers and that’s why he should be getting as many reps as possible.
As for Brock Osweiler.
I’ll admit I’m not a supporter of him. I wasn’t excited when Cleveland acquired him in March despite the fact they got a second round pick because he’s not worth the $16 million salary they have to pay him this season.
He looked good when he relieved Peyton Manning in Denver during the 2015 season and maybe if his asking price was lower, it would’ve been nice to see Cleveland pick him up during the 2016 offseason as a free agent.
His performance on the field went backwards in Houston last season despite going 8-6 as a starter and winning a playoff game albeit against a banged up Oakland Raiders squad.
Osweiler is getting a fresh start in Cleveland and if he’s named the starter, I’ll support the decision because I trust Hue Jackson’s judgement at the position.
I’ve been told despite the hype on Kizer, people in Berea believe Osweiler has been the best out of the quarterbacks considering he hasn’t received first team reps.
At some point this season unless the Browns get off to a great start with Osweiler as the quarterback, Kizer needs to play.
If things start off poorly, Kizer needs to be out there and the organization needs to see what he has as the quarterback. If the team has a poor record again this season, they’ll have to think long and hard about selecting a quarterback at the top of the 2018 Draft especially if the prospects at that position will be as good as advertised right now.
Also, still don’t rule out a potential trade for Brock Osweiler. The Miami Dolphins are potentially looking for a quarterback with Ryan Tannehill injuring his knee on Thursday.
He may have to miss the entire season if he chooses to undergo surgery.
Osweiler played under Dolphins head coach Adam Gase in Denver when he was the offensive coordinator.
However, Gase and the Dolphins are attempting to lure Jay Cutler out of retirement and are negotiating a deal.
If the deal falls apart, I could easily see Miami making a call to the Browns to see what it would take to acquire Osweiler.
The Browns shopped Osweiler after they acquired him and are willing to pay a good amount of Osweiler’s salary according to media reports. If I’m Cleveland, I’m asking for a third round pick in return but at minimum a fifth round pick if Miami would take on paying his entire salary.
Coach Jackson said he’d make adjustments to the quarterback reps after the Orange and Brown scrimmage on Friday.
It will be interesting to see if any changes come Saturday when the team hits the practice field again or if he’ll wait until Monday after the team has an off day on Sunday.