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Hue Jackson: RGIII Signing Won’t Change Draft Plans

As is tradition, the Cleveland Browns will start 2016 with a fresh head coach, a fresh starting quarterback, and a fresh outlook on just how to turn professional sport’s most dysfunctional franchise into a respectable outfit again.

After a miserable start to free agency, the Browns turned some heads with the signing of Robert Griffin III, but coach Hue Jackson is adamant that the move won’t affect the team’s draft plans.

“I don’t think signing Robert says anything about what we’ll do in the draft,” Jackson explained. “You never know. You can never have enough good players.”

Of course, there are few times when the NFL is more characterised by lies and deceit than draft season. Nobody expected Jackson to tell reporters he’s kissed the ground Griffin has walked on and that all of Cleveland’s quarterback woes are finally over. But the signing has suddenly created some intrigue as to how much foresight – or lack thereof – the Browns will show with their second overall selection.

If Jackson’s words are to be taken as truth, the Browns will have every intention of having the team’s most important position up for grabs throughout training camp and preseason. If so, that battle will be waged between Griffin and Carson Wentz, Jared Goff or some other top-tier QB prospect.

Should Cleveland feel happy enough with RGIII as a stop-gap solution or, indeed, a viable long-term answer (let’s not forget Griffin only turned 26 in February), then it might be too tempting to select a premier pass rusher or offensive lineman that will help get results now.

As it stands, the Browns will enter the 2016 draft with the second overall pick of 2012 on their roster and effectively two first-round picks this year.

After tying Tennessee for the worst record in football last season, the two franchises will alternate between who picks first in each round. With the Browns picking first in round two, and the Patriots still without a first-round pick of their own, Cleveland holds the 32nd pick and the opportunity to still nab a prospective starter.

What they do with those picks won’t be clear until that card reaches the podium, but the Browns will have to make a choice between future depth and present firepower before then. The addition of RGIII makes that question just a little tougher.

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