The 2017 NFL Draft is on the horizon, bringing hope for struggling sides that their salvation could be arriving on their roster.
The New England Patriots will have had no idea 17 years ago that they would have selected the quarterback that would drive them to five Super Bowl titles – when they drafted Tom Brady in the sixth round.
Therefore it’s extremely plausible that a man could come along to reverse the fortunes of the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers or the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Browns boast the first pick in the draft and will be determined to land a superstar with the selection, having endured an awful 2016 campaign.
Hue Jackson’s men won just one game all season, only narrowly avoiding becoming the second team in NFL history to endure a winless term.
As a result, Cleveland are in desperate need of quality reinforcements across the board and are well placed to do so with the first-overall pick.
We’ll now break down their options of who to select and the betting prices available.
The consensus is that the Browns should and will select the defensive out of Texas A&M. Garrett has been a standout player during his college days with three years of consistent and impressive performances for the Aggies.
He has accumulated over 30 sacks in his three years at the college level, notching 11 in his freshman year before adding another 11.5 in his junior season.
The displays propelled him up draft boards even before the start of the 2016 campaign – where although he drew maximum attention from opposing teams- Garrett still notched 8.5 sacks over the course of the term.
Garrett’s performances have earned him comparisons to Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, who was also a standout player with the Aggies. Both men play had great success rushing the passer, although Miller was selected second-overall rather than first by the Denver Broncos.
Only one team in the league notched fewer sacks than the Browns last term – therefore he seems to be a perfect fit to the side and a starter from day one. If selected and should he have the same success at Miller than it would be a fantastic move by the AFC North outfit.
The 21-year-old is backed by Topbet sportsbook at 2/251.08-12000.08-12.000.08 to be selected first overall – and that would be solid value to take based on his talent.
The debate rages over which quarterback will be the first selected, while the Browns could still dip into the market with the first-overall selection given their glaring need.
Trubisky opted to leave North Carolina after his junior year and after just one full season as the team’s starter. He performed well enough in the ACC, although the standard of competition is not as fierce as the formidable South Eastern Conference.
The 22-year-old threw 30 touchdowns to six interceptions, building an impressive rapport with wideout Ryan Switzer. Trubisky will need those skills in abundance should he be selected by the Browns.
Scouts are not too keen on his ability to throw downfield along with his consistency, with just one year of college ball under his belt. To be selected with the number one pick – it’s widely considered that you have to be ready to play from day one, although Jared Goff bucked that trend last year.
There are similarities between those players in their style of play and physique. Jackson spoke highly of the quarterback during the NFL Combine, with the 22-year-old meeting the requirements for the system.
Whether or not is the man to reverse the fortunes of a struggling franchise is another matter. The comments from Jackson are worth heeding and should the Browns decide on a quarterback – he could be the man chose with odds of 3/14.00+3003.003.00-0.33.
Watson produced one of the most impressive performances in the CFB Championship game, bringing the Clemson Tigers from behind to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The 21-year-old drove his side downfield late in the game before throwing a touchdown strike to Hunter Renfrow to secure a 35-31 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
The quarterback was outstanding for the Tigers throughout the campaign, throwing 41 touchdowns to just 17 interceptions. He built on his solid 2015 season when he notched 35 strikes to 13 interceptions, accumulating an impressive stat line to his long list of vital victories.
One of the problems that scouts have criticised the 21-year-old for is the amount of interceptions he has thrown during his time as the Tigers’ starter.
That number will likely rise in the NFL, although at the same time Clemson did ask a lot of their quarterback to win them matches, which more often than not.
He has all the physical attributes required to play the position at the NFL level and has the leadership qualities needed to turn a losing franchise around due to his experience with the Tigers. Therefore he could be the option for the Browns at number one with odds of 66/167.00+660066.0066.00-0.02 with SkyBet.
Other Leading Contenders
Jonathan Allen was a standout player on the defensive line of the Alabama Crimson Tide during his college career. He was a force in the middle of the line, disrupting the run and the pass due to his ability to shed his blocks efficiently, while also taking on double teams.
The Browns had invested heavily on the defensive line of late, with Danny Shelton added in the first round in 2015. As a result, it would be unlikely to see him selected by the AFC North outfit.
Jamal Adams was outstanding for the LSU Tigers during his three-year career with the team. He displayed significant improvement towards the end of his time in college, with 76 tackles – which 7.5 of which were for a loss.
Adams notched five interceptions in his final two years and would add a solid presence to the Browns’ secondary if he were added, but the first-overall pick might just be too high for him to be considered due to the importance of other positions.
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Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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