CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - For the first time since their rebirth almost 20 years ago, the Cleveland Browns will pick a quarterback with the top pick in the NFL Draft.
At least that's the common thinking, and what they certainly should do.
Some will argue that if the Browns value Josh Rosen (UCLA), Sam Darnold (USC) and Josh Allen (Wyoming) equally, they should either take running back Saquon Barkley (Penn State) first overall and land one of those three quarterbacks with the 4th overall pick, or trade down with another QB-desperate team, add more picks, and still get their quarterback at 4. I say don't overthink it.
Past regimes have been doing that for years. Kick off the Draft by picking your franchise quarterback at #1 and move on.
Which brings me to Mel Kiper.
The draft guru put out his first Mock Draft on Thursday and surprised a few people by predicting the Browns will take Wyoming's Josh Allen.
Allen's big (6-foot 5-inches), strong (best arm in the draft), and shows strong leadership skills.
He's played in bad weather (obviously) for a small program, which combined with his size and arm strength leads many to compare him to Carson Wentz.
Allen's coming off a poor season (56 percent completion rate), but he didn't have a lot of help, and he wowed people a month ago at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. If Kiper is correct, the Browns will be taking a chance on a high-upside guy rather than go with a more polished Josh Rosen.
The problem is, Kiper's not always right.
In his final 2017 Mock Draft, Kipere had the Browns taking Mitchell Trubisky first overall. Of course, they took defensive end Myles Garrett, and Trubisky went second overall to the Bears.
In 2016 Kiper had the Browns taking Wentz second overall. Of course, they didn't. Kiper was correct on one thing.
They should have. And that's not hindsight. Many of us called for Wentz going into the draft (or Deshaun Watson at 12).
The Browns chose neither, which is why they're still in the position they've been in for two decades.
But back to that 2016 draft. How many of his top-10 mock picks did Kiper get right? ONE. Jared Goff, first overall to the Rams. (Kiper did predict that linebacker Myles Jack would go to the Jaguars, but at No. 5 overall. Jack ended up in Jacksonville, but fell to Round 2).
2015? Kiper nailed it. Nose tackle Danny Shelton at 12.
2014? Kiper called for wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick. If only.
2013? Huge swing and a miss by the guru. Cornerback Dee Milliner (Alabama).
The Browns not only passed on Milliner (choosing linebacker Barkevious Mingo instead), Milliner, who was taken by the Jets three picks later, is now out of football.
My favorite Mingo quote? His mom Barbara, in Berea the day after the draft, when asked what her lean son likes to eat: "Quarterbacks." That turned out to be even funnier than we thought.
Hopefully Mingo, last seen with the Colts, won't be eating our next quarterback anytime soon. Because hopefully, the Browns finally get it right. And if you're a Josh Allen fan, hopefully Mel Kiper finally gets it right as well.