There was a time this story would’ve been interesting to talk about. Who would you take, an arguably Top 10 defensive player or a franchise quarterback? Heck of a dilemma to deal with. You look at the Rams, and they’d take Aaron Donald over just about every quarterback on the market. The Browns had to make that same decision, selecting Myles Garrett to anchor the defensive line for the Browns, and passing on hometown prospect Mitchell Trubisky.
No one knew how close the Browns came to drafting Trubisky, but that old so-and-so Hue Jackson does and he’s gushing about it in detail. Speaking to the Pass it Down podcast, Jackson detailed the 2017 NFL Draft that saw the Browns consider the current Bills QB over the Pro Bowl defensive end. (via The Spun)
"I was lock and barrel on Myles Garrett. But there were others that were lock and barrel on Mitchell Trubisky and me being a quarterback guy, I did not want that. I liked Mitchell, but I didn’t think he was the first pick of the draft at quarterback. There were some rumblings about that and I think everybody knew that. There was truly divide. But the day of the draft, we obviously ended up picking Myles and rightfully so."
Now, nothing Jackson says about Trubisky is wrong. I think most would agree he could start in the NFL and may even return to his Pro Bowl form with the right coach, he’s by no means a bad quarterback but he obviously wasn’t first overall pick material.
Now, some would argue that Baker Mayfield wasn’t “first overall pick material” either, seeing at how Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen have developed but let’s say Mayfield wasn’t, he’s at least a Top 10 pick still from his draft class. Now, there’ll be some who disagree but they probably just won’t ever accept Mayfield, so we’re not going to entertain them.
For Trubisky, he’s clearly not a first-round pick talent, at least at the moment, but he’s athletic as heck and can make plays. He just has to have the right coach to support him. Trubisky is a Cleveland kid so there’s a lot of desire to see him succeed. It’s a big reason so many wanted the Browns to draft him.
If Jackson is telling the truth, then thankfully the organization went in a different direction and not just for the Browns’ sake. Imagine how much worse Trubisky would’ve been in Cleveland in the 0-16 season?