NFL Draft 2017: Browns made right call passing on first-round quarterback

Cleveland didn't select a quarterback in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and we're OK with that.

The Browns made all the right moves in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday.

That's right. Not a joke. We're serious.

MORE: 2017 NFL Draft Board

Cleveland stuck with Texas A&M's Myles Garrett with the No. 1 pick to get all the "no matter what" references from "Draft Day" out of the way. That's the biggest victory of the night.

The rest of the night was still interesting. The Browns traded the No. 12 pick to Houston for more picks, and moved down to the No. 25 spot where they took Michigan standout Jabrill Peppers. Cleveland added another pick at No. 29 — through a trade with Green Bay — and grabbed Miami tight end David Njoku.

Three picks. No quarterbacks. You know what? We like it.

Cleveland played this round right, and the "Moneyball" approach from general manager Sashi Brown, chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and coach Hue Jackson continues to be a fascinating storyline for a franchise trying to reverse course from a 1-15 season. The Browns avoided a draft-day temptation that has bitten the franchise three times in the past.

MORE: How Browns can land franchise QB once and for all

The Browns have used a second first-round pick on a quarterback three times since 1999, picking Brady Quinn (2007), Brandon Weeden (2012) and Johnny Manziel (2014). None of those picked panned out, and it appears the Browns finally learned their lesson. Cleveland let other teams trade up to grab Mitchell Trubisky, Pat Mahomes II and Deshaun Watson this time. They avoided the emotion of a wild first round and stuck with a plan.

The Browns didn't answer the quarterback question this offseason. As of now, it's still Brock Osweiler, acquired earlier in an NBA-style trade with the Texans in March. But this "Moneyball" approach might land the right franchise quarterback later.

Perhaps that comes in a 2018 NFL Draft that includes USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Louisville's Lamar Jackson. If not, then the Kirk Cousins rumors bubbled up during the draft might come to fruition. The Browns have enough draft picks stockpiled to pre-package any number of deals for either option.

They'll need to answer that quarterback question at some point. Everybody knows about the 26 different starting quarterbacks since 1999. It's a jersey, a punchline and a parody. Yet the origin of this quarterback curse traces back to Nov. 8, 1993. That's when Cleveland released Bernie Kosar, a nearby Youngstown, Ohio, native who took the Browns to three AFC championship games. He's one of the most-beloved players in franchise history. The Fox 8 affiliate in Cleveland still references "Bernie, Bernie" in commercials. The five-word phrase "diminishing skills and physical limitations" still has meaning.


MORE: NFL Draft: Updates and analysis

Why? Todd Philcox started the week after Kosar was let go because Vinnie Testaverde was injured, and you kind of know where it went from there. The next starting quarterback will technically be the 31st flavor since Kosar was released. What's a few more?

The next Kosar for Cleveland wasn't in this year's class. So while waiting for the next one, why not build everything else? The Browns got an impressive first-round haul in Garrett, Peppers and Njoku — and because it's three first-round picks, the Browns will be declared obligatory draft-day winners.

That's right. Not a joke. We're serious.

For a franchise that's perpetually declared loser, this is the second straight depth-building draft that could pay off later. Cleveland's search for a quarterback continues, but when they find one, they might finally step into a good situation for once.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes