Cleveland Browns training camp battles: Quarterback

It’s the song that never ends.

The Browns have been looking for a franchise quarterback since they came back into the league in 1999. Really since even before that when then-coach Bill Belichick released Bernie Kosar and made Vinny Testaverde the starter.

After the team made an offseason trade and used another draft pick on a quarterback, chances are good another name is going to be added to the infamous jersey list.

Gone from last year are the ineffective Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown. In are Brock Osweiler (via trade from the Texans in addition to a second-round pick) and second-round pick DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame. Returning are second-year players Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.

The quarterback competition this summer is wide open. Kessler is the incumbent and starter heading into camp according to coach Hue Jackson. But Osweiler has the most NFL starting experience in his time in Denver and Houston and impressed coaches in OTAs. Kizer also reportedly has been impressive and is learning at a fast rate this summer.

Kessler knows the system the best. Osweiler has the experience. Kizer has the best arm and is the most likely to be the quarterback of the future.

The best case scenario heading into September is Kizer proves to be ready to be the Week 1 starter and becomes this year’s Dak Prescott. If he plays the majority of the season and shows improvement as the year goes on, it will put a lot of pressure off the organization to find “the one.” Osweiler can then become trade bait if a contending team suffers an injury at the quarterback position.

Worst case is Kizer is not ready. Kessler or Osweiler start but either struggle or suffer injury early and the quarterback carousel begins anew again. My guess is, Kizer wins the battle. What happens after that remains a mystery.

Position grade: Incomplete

Osweiler and Kizer should be upgrades to Griffin and McCown. But can anyone prove this season that they are the future of this franchise?


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