Well, this one had to come eventually. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be covering the 2016 season grades for the Cleveland Browns. After a 1-15 season, the grades will definitely be…interesting, to say the least. In any case, the Browns had a litany of problems on offense this year. While their defense was dismal, their offense gave them no help whatsoever. So naturally, let’s dive right into the fire. These are the grades of the quarterbacks of the 2016 Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland Browns 2016 Season Grades: Quarterbacks
Robert Griffin, III: D+
One good game. One. Robert Griffin, III was Hue Jackson’s hand-picked free agent quarterback going into 2016, and he amounted to one good game. But of course, credit where credit is due: RGIII was the starting quarterback in Cleveland’s lone win this past season. Fittingly, that was also Griffin’s one good game. A win over the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve brought his grade up from complete hopelessness, but only a bit.
Cutting Griffin some slack, fans must consider his injury this season, and his history thereof. In the middle of the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Griffin suffered a broken coracoid in his left shoulder. The injury kept him out until Week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, there’s still no real evidence that Griffin should get the benefit of the doubt. He played at a pedestrian level, both before and after his latest injury. Despite the one win, fans should expect that Griffin’s hopes of recapturing his mojo have been firmly dashed. Oh, and not to mention, RGIII was the one quarterbacking this abomination.
Josh McCown: C-
Josh McCown is an interesting conundrum of a quarterback. Maybe if he were about a decade younger, he could be really good in Cleveland. Every time he’s at the helm, the Browns seem to light up the field (if only for the first half). But alas, McCown is 37 years old. In addition to age, he’s almost as injury prone as RGIII. It seems that every time McCown and the Browns are really on a roll, he breaks down and exits the game. And the Cleveland Browns need youth and durability, as opposed to aged and fragile players.
Outside of injury, McCown is a good player for his age. He can still make the throws when he’s healthy, and he has good physical size. Additionally, he has a great head on his shoulders. If the Browns ever find a proper franchise quarterback, McCown could be a great mentor. For his leadership ability and production to age ratio, McCown edges Griffin.
Cody Kessler: B+
Cody Kessler was a bit of a diamond in the rough for the Cleveland Browns this year. A third-round pick from USC, many still considered Kessler to be a reach on Cleveland’s part. But Kessler really did prove himself. He has a cerebral aspect to his game that is incredible. The kid is smart as a whip. He knows the playbook like the back of his hand and has a great football IQ.
The only big problem with Kessler is his physical drawbacks; he will make a much better coach than a player. Though he has size, Kessler lacks the arm strength to make the prototypical “NFL throws” that scouts look for. However, he makes the best of his incredible football mind. For Kessler to succeed, he’ll need better weapons around him than the Browns currently possess. He could be a very good backup one day, but his starting potential is a bit questionable in Cleveland.
Kevin Hogan: N/A
Kevin Hogan was never supposed to start a game this season. He came in for an injured Cody Kessler in week seven and actually played pretty well, considering he started on the practice squad. Hogan ran for the longest quarterback rushing touchdown in Browns history (28 yards). But in all truth, Hogan can’t really be given a grade, as he simply just didn’t play enough. The sample size that Hogan gave fans was promising, but could easily be taken for a fluke.
Composite Grade: C+
As a group, the quarterbacks of the 2016 Cleveland Browns were pretty bad. A good grade for the most important position in sports is imperative for a franchise to succeed, but the Browns have a mediocre group of quarterbacks at best. Robert Griffin III collected the team’s lone win, but injury shot down his return to stardom. Josh McCown could be a great mentor, but is too old to succeed long-term and has problems with injury as well. Cody Kessler’s future is bright, but his ceiling is questionable. Overall, the quarterbacks of the 2016 Cleveland Browns receive a composite grade of C+.