Dear Cleveland Browns, please not Josh Allen

From the heart of David Delano…

I am a sports handicapper and sports fanatic. I’m also a die hard Cleveland Browns fan. The last couple years, I have learned to cope with my pain by often betting against the team that I have loved for just as long as I have loved the game of football. As the apathy and disgust continued to build, I decided to capitalize on possibly the biggest cheat code in sports handicapping; betting against the Browns. I still hate to see the team lose, but the losing was going to happen regardless of what I did, so why not enjoy some easy money and comic relief at the expense of the franchise that I love.

I’m sorry but if the Browns are going to go 1-31, I need something back for being a fan.  Still my soft spot for Cleveland has prevented me from cashing in on them as much as I easily should have.

I’m not on the radio in Cleveland. I’m not on Fox or ESPN. I’m not a NFL scout and I have not spent hours on hours dissecting tape with Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.  So I guess you can say, I’m just “another guy on twitter.”  So what is my opinion even worth when it comes to the 2018 NFL draft anyway?

Well, who I am is a die hard Cleveland Browns fan whose happiest moment as a NFL fan was the Browns 1994 season led by “Browns legend” Vinny Testaverde, which resulted in one playoff win over the New England Patriots.

I don’t need to go into detail as to what has happen since 1995, if you are reading this you either already know or can easily find out.

Although I’m not a scout, I follow college football very closely, and although I don’t like to brag,  when it comes to handicapping college football I’m pretty damn good. I love watching college football, not just watching Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC and Alabama. I enjoy watching Grambling State, Wyoming, Hawaii, Bowling Green, Memphis, San Diego State, Navy, Toledo and Trine University as well, along with a long list of other random teams.

For what it’s worth, I have seen my share of superstars at small and mid-major schools long before they were on the national radar, and I have learned that special talents will often jump out at you.

I remember going to see Eastern Illinois play Toledo in 2000. I had no idea who any of the players on Eastern Illinois where, but I knew when I left the game with my dad, I was convinced that the quarterback for Eastern Illinois was the best quarterback I had ever seen in person, in my life up to that point.  I decided to research that kid from Eastern Illinois, and follow his career as much as I could. The kid was Tony Romo.

I remember watching Ben Roetsliberger in high school and college, he was unbelievable. For those who don’t remember Roetsliberger led Miami to a 13-1 record and top ten AP poll  ranking in 2003. He was the type of player who elevated the program to another level and put Miami Ohio on the national scene.

Josh Allen is no Big Ben.

I remember watching highlights of Steve McNair in college and all the national attention he brought to Alcorn State in the early 90s. The hype was not all based on his size and charisma, but because of his production, and what he was doing to take Alcorn State to a level the program had never seen prior to his arrival.

So how does any of this relate to this years upcoming draft?  Well, when I watch Josh Allen play, I just don’t see it and I just don’t feel it.  I do not want Josh Allen on the Cleveland Browns.

In fact if the Browns draft Josh Allen number one, I will want to break something…. but I won’t because I’m a Browns fan and drafting Josh Allen would be the “Browns thing to do.

I believe that if Josh Allen is to be anointed savior of the Browns, then you should be able to tell he’s good from watching the games, without trying to force yourself to love him because Mel Kiper keeps telling you he’s great. I believe that the next man who is presented with one of the biggest challenges in all of professional sports (the man who we are expecting to turn the Cleveland Browns around), should at least be able to turn the Wyoming Cowboys around.

I hope that every quarterback that is selected this year turns out to be a future Hall of Famer. I am not rooting against anyone.  It’s not personal; but being a Cleveland Browns fan is tough. Being a Cleveland Browns starting quarterback is even tougher, at least while it last.

Since I am a Browns fan, I did my best to follow the top college quarterbacks this season, even though I hope we would not be in this situation again (yes I said “we”) after drafting Deshone Kizer last season.

APTOPIX-Jaguars-Browns-Football
“in Cleveland there’s rarely any time to learn; only pressure to save a failing franchise regardless of the odds stacked up against you.”

I have watched Josh Allen a few times in his career. I watched him lose to Eastern Michigan and Brigham Young in 2016. Then when I heard he was the number one prospect going into 2017, I told one of my friends, “I just watched him, he was okay, but I didn’t see anything special.” So I told myself going into 2017, let’s watch Josh Allen as much as possible, let’s really watch him, with more than just concern for the point spread. So this past season I watched Josh Allen against Oregon, Hawaii, Boise State and Central Michigan. Forgive me for missing Allen’s stellar games against Gardner-Webb, Texas State and New Mexico.

Maybe I can’t evaluate talent.

Maybe I’m not intelligent enough about the game of football to understand that just because I watched a quarterback play over and over again, and he looked like he’s not ready for the NFL doesn’t mean he actually is not ready for the NFL.

Maybe I need to understand that just because I watched Josh Allen go 8 for 18 for 67 yards in regulation against defensive juggernaut Hawaii this season. doesn’t mean he’s not the next Tom Brady.  Maybe I just I need to be more open minded and learn to just hop on his nuts like the broadcasters did, when he threw that beautiful 25 yard pass in overtime to give Wyoming a 28-21 overtime win against Hawaii finishing with 92 yards passing and the win.

It  feels like I’ve seen 50 college quarterbacks better than Josh Allen in my life, and honestly I want to say even more than that. The kid just isn’t good right now. Some people will say Allen needs time to develop, but so did Deshone Kizer, and we see how that worked out. Despite the 0-16 season, I was all for keeping Kizer around because when he was drafted it seemed to be clear that he would need time to learn. But in Cleveland there’s rarely any time to learn; only pressure to save a failing franchise regardless of the odds stacked up against you.

When I see Josh Allen, I see why the scouts love him. He’s a tall, athletic, strong, good looking white kid. He looks the way the NFL wants their quarterbacks to look. The scouts seem to love what they see in Allen,no matter how many receivers he over throws.  The physical skills are definitely there, but when I look at Josh Allen, I see more Ryan Mallet than Big Ben. I see more Charlie Frye than Carson Wentz and I see more Christian Ponder than Phillip Rivers.

With the proper coaching, support and patience maybe Josh Allen will be a great pro. I do believe that the odds however are stacked against Allen going to Cleveland right now,  I’m skeptical about every quarterback in this years draft, but for what it’s worth here’s how I rank the quarterback class based on NFL potential.

  1. Josh Rosen
  2. Baker Mayfield
  3. Sam Darnold
  4. Mason Rudolph
  5. Josh Allen
  6. Lamar Jackson
  7. Luke Falk

It really hurts for me to list Josh Allen over Lamar Jackson. I placed Allen fifth because I have bought into his strong arm and physical potential a little bit as well. However, if we are talking about how the those seven quarterbacks rank based off college performance alone,  then Josh Allen is easily seventh.

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Like always the situation that any quarterback gets drafted into will have a lot to do with his future success. I am sure that at least six of the top incoming rookie quarterbacks would be fine in Pittsburgh or New England; where five of those same six may fail in Cleveland. The same can be said about Deshone Kizer last season, and basically every other Cleveland quarterback since 1999. There was no patience or support system for Kizer last season. With Kizer being traded to Green Bay, I honestly believe today, that the odds of Deshone Kizer becoming an elite NFL quarterback are better than the odds that Josh Allen ever will.

On a positive note, I believe that regardless of who the Browns pick, if Tyrod Taylor can start all 16 games next season, with a healthy Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon, it will be in the best long term interest of any rookie quarterback that “we” select.  Despite

Despite all the questions surrounding the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft, in today’s NFL the Browns basically have to take a quarterback at number one or number four. I would love to see Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield be selected at #1 or #4, with Mason Rudolph, Lamar Jackson or Luke Falk also being selected after the first round.

Still when it comes to Josh Allen I say, “don’t do it Cleveland!”

But at the end of the day I’m a Browns fan. So to the Cleveland Browns, even if you ignore my words and you do draft Josh Allen, I will be pulling for him and your entire organization to make me eat my words.”

But in case you don’t get this right…Shea Patterson or Drew Lock?

How do you feel?

E-mail me at: BetSportsStrong@gmail.com

Twitter @GetSportsstrong

https://www.facebook.com/getsportsstrong

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