Facing Deshaun Watson: a brutal reminder of Browns' latest Night net Draft whiff

null null Night net null null I have a few questions for Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta, the Cleveland Browns’ alleged football brain trust. What in the world were you thinking when you passed twice on Deshaun Watson (at No. 1 and No. 12) in the 2017 Night net Draft?How about the year prior, when you traded out of the No. 2 spot in which you could have selected Carson Wentz? Have you ever heard the term "franchise quarterback"?  In case the Browns are oblivious to how sensational Watson has played over the past two weeks, they will see him in person when winless Cleveland plays in Houston on Sunday. And the passionate Browns fan base likely will be seething after another loss as they think about the bad decisions to pass on Watson and Wentz.Not to mention team owner Jimmy Haslam, who has to be wondering once again about his football operations leadership.MORE: Ranking worst of bad Browns QBsA potential franchise passer has to rise to the top of a team's draft board when that team is in need of the most important position in the sport. I can somewhat understand the apprehension over Wentz coming out of North Dakota State, but I still would have taken him at No. 2 overall rather than trading the pick because of his obvious physical gifts.Watson is a different story. There should have been no cause for concern about drafting the Clemson product, who I had rated as my top draft-eligible player regardless of position, after his stellar college career.Give Houston general manager Rick Smith and coach Bill O'Brien credit for identifying Watson as a game-changing talent and trading up in the draft to get him. He fits in nicely with a fine group of skill players, including DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller at wide receiver, plus Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman at running back. Houston's offensive line is playing better than expected, with Watson's ability to escape pressure certainly helping the cause.Watson's 100.7 passer rating through five weeks ranks No. 7 in the Night net. His 49-yard touchdown run was the game-winner in Cincinnati, and he went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady in a losing effort in New England. His play over the past two weeks, against the Titans and Chiefs, has made him the early favorite for offensive rookie of the year. And with defensive stars J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus out for the season, Watson will have to be even more productive.Meanwhile, Cleveland is floundering at quarterback.Second-round draft pick DeShone Kizer was the Night net's lowest-rated starter at an abysmal 49.5 with three touchdown passes and nine interceptions before he was benched in the second half of the Browns' loss to the Jets last week for Kevin Hogan, who was named starter for this week’s game.When the Browns elected to draft defensive end Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall this year, they chose him over all of the QBs who ended up going in the first round, including Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2, Bears), Patrick Mahomes (No. 10, Chiefs) and Watson (No. 12). There's a chance Chicago and Kansas also may have chosen the wrong quarterbacks, but at least each took a QB when it was a need.Great pass-rushers are highly valued, but even if Garrett turns into a Pro Bowler, he can't have the impact a franchise QB could — he does not have the ball in his hands on every play, plus defensive ends can be double-teamed and have their effectiveness limited.The other players Cleveland selected as a result of trading down in the last couple drafts have been a mixed bag. Kizer is part of that group, and wide receiver Corey Coleman (No. 15 overall in 2016) has just 39 career catches and is on injured reserve for the second straight year (broken hand). Safety Jabrill Peppers (No. 25 this year) and right tackle Shon Coleman (third round in 2016) are starters and should become solid players. But they won't make people forget about the Browns not taking top quarterbacks when the opportunities were there. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/70/58/deshone-kizer-100817-getty-ftrjpg_yd6ueku57ady1rp6k4vh4necu.jpg?t=-28191218&w=500&quality=80 It's mind-boggling what a quarterback graveyard Cleveland has been, with the Johnny Manziel nightmare (first round in 2014) being the biggest mistake. Kizer still could become a decent player, as it's too early to give up on a rookie, especially one with a shaky supporting cast. But the early returns are not good.Occasionally a team can find a Russell Wilson in the third round, a Dak Prescott in the fourth or a Tom Brady in the sixth. These guy

s are the exceptions. It's better for a team to cast its lot with the top-rated quarterback when given the chance, and the Browns whiffed not once, not twice but three times in two years.MOCK DRAFT 2018: Browns try again at QBSo odds are Cleveland's executive VP of football operations/general manager (Brown) and — love this title — chief strategy officer and former baseball moneyball man (DePodesta) will see their lack of foresight running roughshod over their team come Sunday in Houston.Come April, maybe they will finally get it right and use their high draft pick on one of the promising potential franchise quarterbacks in the class of 2018.Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected Night net Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNight net.