Kanell: “It Sucks” That Browns Need A QB And These Are Their Options

Danny Kanell is a big fan of Baker Mayfield, but he's not sure if the Heisman winner is worth the No. 1 pick – or even No. 4

Taz and the Moose
March 08, 2018 - 9:55 am

Photo by Getty Images


The Cleveland Browns have the first and fourth overall picks in this year’s NFL Draft, and they need a quarterback. There’s just one problem:

There’s no slam-dunk option at the position.

“I think it sucks if you’re the Cleveland Browns and you need a quarterback and these are your options,” CBS Sports HQ analyst Danny Kanell said on Taz & The Moose. “All of them, even Baker Mayfield included, as much as I like him, I think there are significant risks for all of them.”



If Kanell were in charge of the Browns, he would call Kirk Cousins immediately and see what it would take to get him to Cleveland.

“That would be my first option,” Kanell said. “I would try to kick the tires on him. I’m a big fan of Kirk Cousins. I think he’s proven himself a top-10 quarterback, so that would be my play if I’m Cleveland.”

Whether Cousins would want to go from one dysfunctional franchise to another, however, remains to be seen.

“Let’s say Kirk Cousins says, ‘I don’t want to go where quarterbacks go to die. I want to go somewhere where I can win a Super Bowl,’” Kanell said. “Then I would have no problem picking Saquon Barkley at No. 1. One, because they have the fourth pick and they could get their quarterback next.”

But is it wise to take a running back No. 1?

“I feel like the No. 1 overall pick in the draft has got to be a player where the expectation is six, seven, eight, nine years as a Pro Bowl player,” Kanell said. “It can’t just be a six-, seven-, eight-year NFL guy or a good player. If you’re the No. 1 overall pick, you’ve got to be a productive superstar in the league. I feel like Saquon Barkely is that level of player. I don’t love the fact that you have to take a running back at 1, but I do feel he’s the best player available in this draft. And then at 4, you kind of let the quarterback fall to you. I would love to see them trade down and acquire more picks.”

Even if the Browns select a quarterback at No. 4, Kanell believes they should take another quarterback later in the draft, perhaps in the fourth round.

“You can never have enough quarterbacks,” he said. “With all the picks that Cleveland has, I would be collecting them and saying, ‘We’re going to keep going at it. We’re going to keep swinging at the fences until we find our guy.’ Get a guy in the third or fourth round, maybe a Russell Wilson (type).”

Wilson was a third-round pick, and Cousins, by the way, was a fourth-round selection – and drafted in the same year as Robert Griffin III.

“Those first-round picks are 50-50 hit rates,” Kanell said. “There’s a 50-50 chance that whoever they take in the first round is going to be a bust, and it’s not that different with a quarterback they take in the third or fourth round. So why not take a flip of the coin there with much less risk?”