Why Drafting a Franchise Quarterback Is More Important Than Upgrading The Offensive Line For The Cleveland Browns

By Jason A. Thomas

There has been a ton of discussion this offseason over who the Cleveland Browns should draft in 2012. The most popular vote, Robert Griffin III, has become a very polarizing pick among Browns fans and media, and understandably so; RG3 won this year’s Heisman trophy with his exciting, high-caliber play. His play carried the Bears to one of their best records in recent memory at 10-3, including an offensive bonanza of a bowl game againstWashingtonwhereGriffinhelped his team put up 777 yards of total offense.

RG3 seemingly came out of no where on his Heisman campaign, almost exactly like how Cam Newton did it last year, lighting up scoreboards all year and putting the team on his back when they needed him the most. Playing quarterback in the NFL isn’t easy; as Browns fans, we know that better than anyone. It takes talent, intelligence, fortitude, leadership qualities, strength, and determination to be the very best. The craziest part about sports is that there are thousands of athletes that possess all of these qualities; and still can’t cut it when they get to the top levels of their particular sport. Sometimes, it’s not the right fit, the team chemistry isn’t quite right, feelings are hurt, focus shifts, etc. Whatever the case may be… sometimes the cards don’t fall correctly, and highly-talented players that possess fantastic leadership qualities are unable to get the job done.

The truth of it all is that there is no perfect science to choosing the right players. Drafting professional football players is an art form that no man will ever master. So why not take a risk on a winner? Using a top draft pick to take an offensive tackle is a great idea; but the man he will be protecting is much more important. Joe Thomas was a great choice that will anchor our offensive line for years to come, but having elite lineman means nothing unless you have playmakers for them to protect. Eli Manning was hit over 20 times in the NFC Championship game, but I’m pretty sure the Giants’ offensive line isn’t their biggest concern right now.  Defensive lines will get to the quarterback in this league, and you’re only chance is to outsmart your opponent like Tom Brady, or have an extremely quick release like Aaron Rogers. Drafting the right quarterback is more important than drafting the offensive line without a quarterback, just as a cheeseburger is pointless without the meat. Unfortunately, you never know if the best looking meat in the draft is always the best choice, but without risk there wouldn’t be reward.


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