Richard Pryor III
Q: Richard, I know you live in Ohio, so you are well-acquainted with the painful life of being a Browns fan. What’s your take on the most recent trades to the Browns?
- Hopeful in Hoffman
A: Ah, hope. It springs eternal. And it’s springing up higher if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, because their take on “the process” nabbed the team-wide receiver Jarvis Landry from Miami, quarterback Tyrod Taylor from Buffalo, and two mid-draft picks coupled alongside cornerback Damarious Randall from Green Bay, all for the low price of five draft picks and quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Taylor is coming off of a playoffs season, Landry came off of a league-leading season in catches (although his average wasn’t that good), and Randall’s been an acceptable cornerback. Coupled with the fact that they have nine picks in April’s NFL draft, including the top pick and the fourth pick, many in Cleveland are hopeful for the Browns season, just like you. So let me tell you why you shouldn’t be too hopeful.
One of the main reasons is that Tyrod Taylor is basically Alex Smith. He loves throwing checkdown passes (passes to a running back or tight end because no other option is available, i.e. checking down his list of receivers). He was one of the worst of the main 32 starting quarterbacks last season when it came to yards per catch. Taylor is also prone to cold streaks. Of the league’s top 37 quarterbacks (that each started 6 games or more), the average passing yards per game is around 229.
Taylor not only averaged 186.6 yards per game (putting him in the same group as Kizer, Jay Cutler, Mitch Trubisky, and Tom Savage), but there was a two-game period where he had less than 229 passing yards total. The Bills’ success last season should not be hastily attributed to Taylor. Let running back LeSean McCoy take most of the credit there.
The second reason might just be the most important: the Browns’ head coach is Hue Jackson. Let’s take a look at the Browns roster from last year. They have some of the better players in the league. Isaiah Crowell. Jabrill Peppers. Myles Garrett. Josh Gordon. Joe Thomas. These are not your mediocre players you might see on the Jets. This was a really well-built team, except at quarterback. There were multiple games that they definitely could have won.
However, Hue Jackson has what I’d like to call the reverse Midas touch. Instead of everything he touches turning to gold, everything he touches turns to crap. If I am correct, any of the players projected to go in the first few picks of the draft (Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Bradley Chubb), I am praying or hoping that the Browns trade down or forget about my existence.
Hue Jackson takes good prospects and makes them into losers. I hope that DeShone Kizer is able to start for the Packers after Aaron Rodgers retires or gets injured and that he’s good and is the Aaron Rodgers to Rodgers’s Brett Farve. Hue Jackson will screw up any player the Browns pick, except Josh Allen because he’s overhyped and will bust out no matter what.