Pat McManamon provides Cleveland Browns commentary for ESPN’s NFL Nation. He does a mailbag feature as well that allows followers to tweet him questions. Pat was one of the first sports writers that this writer had the pleasure of interacting with, a phone discussion on Deer Antler Spray’s impact on Ray Lewis. McManamon left Fox Sports to join ESPN and does a fine job covering the team. His take on one of his Twitter questions is interesting:
To which McManamon responded:
@PatMcManamon The Browns need impact players, guys who can step in and make their presence felt. That could be a quarterback, but I don’t think the top three do that in this year’s draft. Not in the short-term at least. Which leaves two players in my mind who would make a larger impact than Greg Robinson. They would be Watkins at receiver and Jadeveon Clowney at linebacker. Robinson is good, but I don’t use the fourth pick for a replacement two years down the line.
It is an interesting line to draw in the sand that Robinson, an offensive tackle, is not an impact player that can make his presence felt. Instead he notes, like many Browns fans have, that Sammy Watkins or Jadeveon Clowney would have greater impact starting off.
The line of questions becomes this: Does a team need to build from the inside out? If yes, are the Browns solid enough on their line to pass over that need and start on the outside? If yes, who is available and what is their value? If no, then the team should draft a lineman.
From a counselor’s persepective I wonder if fans are so wrapped up in fantasy football and so enjoyed Josh Gordon last year that they overlook the importance of a high quality line? Related to Gordon I also wonder if fans believe any decent QB could make this team great if Gordon could put up the numbers he did with such lousy QB play? If fans believe that then adding a Watkins, even if overdrafted at #4, makes a ton of sense. Yet generally speaking QBs make WRs better, see Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb‘s receiving cores, and not the other way around.
What say you? Do you want an “impact guy” the way Pat describes them? Want the team to build from the inside? Want a QB no matter what?