I hate you so much, AFC North guy that isn’t Jamison Hensley.
If Tim Couch were drafted next year and played behind a vastly superior offensive line, I think he’d surprise a lot of people. He wasn’t great at anything, but he was decent at everything. If I were to pick a modern QB to compare him to, I’d say Matt Hasselbeck. (Yes, they’re contemporaries, but work with me for a moment.) Kevin remembers my Matt Hasselbeck reign o’ terror in Madden 2004. (It was Hasselbeck, right?)
Looking back, none of the other QBs in the list ever amounted to much. Whether it’s poor talent scouting or just that Cleveland is cursed (and it’s probably 50-50), Cleveland cannot pick a QB to save its life. Part of it is the fans. Cleveland fans run players out of town on a rail for stupid reasons. We’re nicer than Philadelphia fans, but only slightly. That has to destroy your confidence. The Next QB, whoever that might be (I haven’t followed college football closely enough to make a good judgment call), must absolutely have nerves of steel to play in Cleveland. Cleveland fans would have destroyed Peyton Manning (who had a crappy first year), and I don’t know whether he would have recovered or not.
Cleveland is in a decent place right now — by which I mean “backs into a playoff spot if everything breaks right” — with a strong defense. If they address the offense in the first round next year (protip: no running backs, thanks!), it might even be “could win the AFC North.” You know what? I’ll settle for that.