With the Browns currently having picks 10 and 19, it's never too early to start talking about the 2012 NFL Draft. With that comes speculation on which positions the team will be targeting with those two picks.
Fair or not, that starts with quarterback. Whether or not the Browns would target a quarterback in the first round will largely be dependent on what starter Colt McCoy can do over the final seven games of the season. If he falters, one of those picks could be used on his successor.
But who could that player be? Below is a breakdown of the top quarterback prospects available for the 2012 NFL Draft and how they'd fit with the Browns.
Andrew Luck, 6'5, 235 pounds, Stanford
Luck's skills have been widely discussed. He's the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning. His in-game intelligence is elite and unique for a college junior. His arm isn't a cannon, but it's strong enough. What's so impressive about Luck is his ability get out on the move. Playing in a pro-style, run-first offense, he'd fit in any system at the next level.
The only way the Browns will get Luck, though, is if they somehow lose out and the winless Colts get some victories. The Browns could also look to package their two first-round picks and more to trade up for Luck.
Matt Barkley, 6'2, 220 pounds, Southern California
Other than Luck, no quarterback prospect has arguably looked better this season than Barkley. He's been throwing an impressive deep ball and completing a high percentage of passes. Barkley is better than most quarterback prospects at throwing his receivers open, an issue McCoy has at times. Southern California runs a version of the West Coast offense that is somewhat similar to what the Browns do, Barkley's transition to a team like the Browns could be seamless.
The trouble is the teams picking in front of the Browns who may want to get Barkley. That would be the Dolphins and Redskins. They currently have the second and sixth picks, respectively.
Landry Jones, 6'4, 220 pounds, Oklahoma
Jones plays in the spread for Oklahoma and knows how to execute it nicely. The offense leads to big-time stats for Jones, but he's been inconsistent. Jones has nice size and a good arm. That much is known. But the junior struggles in the face of pressure and will throw a lot of bad balls. How well his game would translate to the NFL and how he'd hold up in Cleveland is questionable.
If the draft were being held today, Jones would likely be available. It doesn't seem like he'd be much of an upgrade from McCoy, though.
Robert Griffin, 6'2, 220 pounds, Baylor
Griffin, an athletic marvel, is the wild card among the four top quarterback prospects. The offense he runs at Baylor is akin to what McCoy did at Texas and the two have similar size. Griffin is just like a ramped up version of McCoy. His football intelligence might not be as high as McCoy's, but Griffin's arm is stronger and he's faster. If the Browns want to gamble with their quarterback, Griffin could be around when they pick.