The Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers are two struggling franchises desperate for a quality starting quarterback, and both teams have been linked to a potential move for Redskins Pro Bowl QB Kirk Cousins, who reportedly wants out of D.C.
The Browns and 49ers hold the top two picks in the 2017 NFL Draft — which doesn’t boast a particularly strong lineup of quarterback prospects. The Browns may reportedly consider trading for Cousins, while the 49ers have been the favorite to potentially land the QB given his connection to new coach Kyle Shanahan.
On Wednesday’s episode of “The Herd,” Colin Cowherd argued that both teams should be throwing their picks at the Redskins to get Cousins.
Colin Cowherd: Are the Browns already tanking for the 2018 NFL Draft?
“This is a stunner to me. [Both] why Washington hasn’t signed him to a three-year deal is beyond me, and why Cleveland wouldn’t be interested is beyond me.
“By not going after him, it really feels like Cleveland — by stockpiling draft picks, getting rid of Terrelle Pryor, not going after Kirk Cousins … you know what it feels like, to me? That Cleveland is legally tanking.
“This is what the Lakers are doing right now. They just sat [Timofey] Mozgov, they traded Lou Williams, then when Lou Williams gets traded they sit Nick Young, their leading scorer. The Lakers are legally tanking.
“Cleveland looks like … people tank in the season, they’re tanking before it. If they don’t go after Kirk Cousins and they sign Geno Smith, what does that tell you? They’re going after Sam Darnold.”
Colin Cowherd: Both Cleveland and San Francisco should have made this deal happen already
“There’s a story out today that Cleveland may make a run at Kirk Cousins. May? You’d rather have the No. 1, No. 2 pick?
“San Francisco’s got the No. 2 pick. San Francisco’s gonna win two games if they don’t get better at quarterback. You wouldn’t trade the No. 2 pick for Kirk Cousins? He threw for 4,900 yards and 25 touchdowns in the superior NFC! And you wouldn’t trade the No. 2 pick? I’d give you the No. 2 pick for four years!”
Colin Cowherd: Most draft picks don’t pan out
“I’m going to give you from 2000, starting with LaVar Arrington, linebacker at Penn State, to 2015, Marcus Mariota, quarterback for the Titans. I’m going to give you every No. 2 pick.
“Nine of 16, 58 percent are a bust or [have] underachieved. Greg Robinson, Rams right tackle. They’ve moved him from left. Bust.
“Luke Joeckel, offensive tackle, Texas A&M. Underachieved.
“Robert Griffin, bust.
“Jason Smith, tackle, Baylor. Bust.
“Reggie Bush, underachieved.
“Ronnie Brown, underachieved.
“Robert Gallery, kind of a bust.
“Charles Rogers, receiver, Michigan State. Bust.
“Leonard Davis, tackle, Texas. Bust.”
Colin Cowherd: Kirk Cousins is clearly a better value than relying on the luck of the NFL Draft
“Now there is Calvin Johnson, there is Von Miller, there is LaVar Arrington. So you get three all-timers, but 60 percent are busts.
“This year’s No. 2 pick, they say, is Solomon Thomas, defensive end, Stanford. Saw him play 10 times, really good player. He’s not going to throw for 4,900 yards.
“Hue Jackson is the coach of Cleveland. He’s 51 years old. He was given one coaching job for one year at Oakland, went 8-8 and they fired him. So he knows how tenuous these jobs are. Cleveland finally gave him a well-deserved coaching job. Hue Jackson earned a head coaching job. He was finally given it at 51 years old after giving 30 years of his life to coaching.
“You wouldn’t give up that pick to get Kirk Cousins? Hue, you’re starting season two after a disastrous year one, as far as wins and losses go. I mean, I did think Cleveland played very hard.
“And you wouldn’t give up [the top pick] for a 4,900-yard passer?”
Colin Cowherd: Hue Jackson can’t afford to write off another season
“I think we’re overvaluing these top draft picks. Belichick’s not drafting until the third round, seems really OK with it. Gave it up, ‘Here, have picks, I want to get guys already in the league that can play.’
“… It’s remarkable, folks. Sixty percent of of No. 2 picks since 2000 either can’t play a lick or can’t play nearly to the level we thought. Sixty percent! And you pay those guys a lot of money.
“Let’s say Kirk Cousins … let’s just say he’s an average franchise quarterback. Alright, so for three years you structure the contract that you have an average quarterback. It beats Hue Jackson giving his life to coaching and then being 53 and out of work. Because you’re not going to go 2-14, 4-12, 5-11 — and that’s what you’re going to be with Geno Smith, with Michell Trubisky — and you’re out of work.
“If for no other reason than self-preservation, go get an average franchise quarterback. Give him 2-3 years. That’s what Andy Reid has done to Alex Smith. ‘We know Alex isn’t great. We’ll build this roster, Alex is good enough to win games, doesn’t turn the ball over, and we’ll keep looking for a superstar quarterback if he comes our way.’ ”