The Browns shocked many in the NFL by passing on Carson Wentz and trading out of the second overall pick a year ago. And even though they drafted Cody Kessler on the second day, the team has put significant time and resources into finding its long-term solution to its ongoing quarterback problem in the 2017 draft. And with the college season winding down, multiple sources said the team's scouts and brass are very high on North Carolina junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky has not received as much press as higher-profile quarterbacks, but the junior and first-year starter is one of the better prospects in what is perceived as a shallow QB class, and sources said the Browns have been particularly impressed by him. The franchise, which uses a heavy reliance on analytics, has strong grades on him, and it's not a secret in the scouting community how highly the Browns rate him.
"They love him," a top evaluator from another NFL club said. "Trust me, they love him."
Cleveland has been searching for quarterback stability since it re-entered the league as an expansion team in 1999. The Browns are again loaded with picks in 2017, two in the first round (including No. 1 overall should they remain on their winless path). Any stability in the front office -- the Browns have repeatedly changed regimes under owner Jimmy Haslam -- ultimately will be tied to finally figuring out the most important position on the field, and last week's benching of Kessler mid-game was another indication of his limitations.
At 6-feet-3, Trubisky has the arm strength to play in the adverse conditions of the AFC North. Sources said the Browns have done extensive work on the native of nearby Mentor, Ohio (about a half hour from Cleveland). The Browns had scouts in attendance at his game Saturday and have tracked him very closely.