The Cleveland Browns have spent some of their pre-draft visits checking out the quarterback class and general manager Andrew Berry stressed the importance of knowing what’s out there.
The Browns have hosted three quarterbacks for visits — Jake Haener, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Clayton Tune. The visits were interesting because of Cleveland’s current QB composition. They have Deshaun Watson as their unquestioned starter and brought back Joshua Dobbs to be his backup.
The question mark would be Kellen Mond, who was picked up off waivers last season and is seen as a developmental prospect. He didn’t suit up for a game last season and has very limited experience since being selected in the third round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2021.
If the Browns were to select a quarterback in the latter rounds, his spot would be in question going forward. Berry said the Browns are just doing their due diligence on players who might fall to them and extracting information.
“Thirty visits in general for us, it’s about accumulating more information,’’ Berry said in his pre-draft press conference on April 21. “So I think that teams use them in different ways and for us as we think through what usually ends up being about 125 guys on the board, we just want to make sure that we have everything on all the guys because you just don’t know what the possibilities are going to be that the individual falls to you.”
Browns GM Andrew Berry: QB is ‘Most Important Position in Sports’
Berry made very clear the importance he puts in the quarterback position and adding competition, even if it’s for spots further back on the depth chart.
“Certainly with quarterbacks we like to spend a lot of time with them and we try and do that appropriately over the course of the spring in different venues,” Berry said. “About adding to the room, it’s the most important position in sports and no different than adding depth and competition at receiver or D-line or corner or linebacker or offensive line, we’re going to do the same thing at quarterback.”
The Browns have been in quarterback purgatory for decades, looking to find their franchise guy. They made a massive investment trading for Watson last offseason and are hopeful he can be a franchise pillar going forward.
“We’ve seen him obviously in practice and game settings, we’ve seen his talent, seen his ability, but it’s an adjustment period, and we feel really good about him getting a full spring, a full summer, and perhaps a more normal start to the regular season boding well for the team,” Berry said on March 29.
Browns QB Deshaun Watson Tuning Out Criticism
Watson is coming off a sub-part debut season with the Browns, although there were many reasons why he didn’t look like his old self. He was adjusting to a new playbook and situation, while also knocking off some significant rust after 700 days away from football.
Watson has heard the chatter about his play and future but is not focused on it.
“That’s their own opinions. I know who I am, this organization knows who I am and the guys that I play with know who I am,” Watson said on April 18. “Everyone has their own opinions of what they want to say or how they want to–just the fact of last year. At the end of the day, I have an opportunity to go out there and prove what I need to prove in 2023. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not focused on what anybody else has to say.”
Watson completed 58.2% of his passes for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions, per Pro Football Reference. The Browns went 3-3 with Watson at the helm.