Everyone who has been around Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz knows he is a man of faith.
Well, hopefully every night when he hits his knees to pray, he should give thanks that he never became the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Even more specifically, he should be grateful that Hue Jackson never went to bat for him when Cleveland decided to trade its second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the Eagles.
Jackson loved Wentz, or so he says now.
Jackson, who was fired last week by the Browns sat down with Mary Kate Cabot of Cleveland.com for a question and answer interview, and one of the questions put to the former Browns coach was whether or not he liked Wentz when Wentz was coming out of North Dakota State.
"Oh my gosh, yes,” said Jackson. “Did I like Carson Wentz? Hell yes. He did something that no other quarterback did. I give them three minutes to memorize the book and put on the (white) board. He put it all on the board in two minutes and 48 seconds. I've never had a guy do that ever in my coaching career."
Yet, as the draft inched closer, Cleveland decided to trade out of the No. 2 spot, acquiring several draft picks from the Eagles. With the first round pick the Eagles sent the Browns, they drafted receiver Corey Coleman, who has already been cut not just by the Browns since then, but also two other teams.
Meanwhile, Wentz is flourishing with the Eagles.
Had Cleveland taken him, would he be having the same kind of success he is now?
It’s affair question considering Cleveland is a place where quarterbacks go to die. The Browns have had 29 different starting quarterbacks since returning to the city as an expansion team in 1999.
Baker Mayfield, taken first overall last spring, is No. 30.
And now, Jackson is singing a different tune about trading away the right to take Wentz in 2016 or Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes in 2017. Never mind that, when Wentz made his debut against the Browns of all teams in 2016 and Jackson was on a conference call with Eagles media, the then-Browns coach repeatedly defended his organization’s decision to trade away the right to select Wentz in the draft.
"We passed on three franchise QBs the first two years in Wentz, Watson and Mahomes," said Jackson. "We played with a QB room with zero wins in the league. We played with street free agents and practice squad players in WRs. Yet our offense was the same or better than what we were doing this year. There is no way that should happen.
"You can't pass on quarterbacks. You never pass on a potential franchise quarterback because you don't know who's going to be there in the future. I think Baker Mayfield is going to be a sensational player if they surround him with the right people, but they've got to give him help and run a scheme suited to his skillset."