So, about the whole “the Cleveland Browns are obviously going to do the smart thing in the draft this time around and just go ahead and take edge defender Myles Garrett with the first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft” thing I was talking about a couple days ago…
Turns out that might not be as set in stone as one might like to think. Adam Schefter Tweeted yesterday evening that the Browns, according to one of his sources, have split opinions on who they want to take with the first pick between Garrett and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Mary Kay Cabot also recently wrote the following for Cleveland.com, regarding a report that the Browns were also considering Leonard Fournette with the top pick: “I’m sure they like Fournette, but I doubt they’re strongly considering him at No. 1. I think they’re pretty set on Myles Garrett at No. 1, but are still kicking around the notion of taking Mitch Trubisky there”.
It’s possible that what all of this really means is that the Browns aren’t necessarily fixed into retaining the first-overall draft pick, because both Trubisky and Fournette would likely be able to be had a bit later in the top five or 10, if not even a bit later in the first round.
Cleveland had the second-overall draft pick last year and passed on the opportunity to draft Carson Wentz. They ended up trading back twice in the first round all the way to the 15th slot, which they used to draft wide receiver Corey Coleman. Though they would obviously like to get him a quarterback to throw the ball to him.
Ultimately, I do think that it’s still more likely than not that the Browns end up utilizing the top pick in the draft, and doing so on Garrett, and I think that Cabot’s version of the thinking in the front office is a bit more on the right page than Schefter’s implication of a sort of 50-50 “split” in terms of opinions. Perhaps there are some who are sold on the need to get the quarterback first, but it may not be as widespread there as indicated.
Those of you who have been following along for the past year or so since we’ve begun more extensively covering the Steelers’ divisional rivals know that there is among us some empathy for what the Browns franchise has gone through over the years, as well as some optimism that the current regime in place might at least threaten to make them competitive.
Already following this report, however, have come the jokes that the Browns are going to “Browns” the first pick away. I’m sure Alejandro Villanueva would not mind. We only have a couple of weeks left before we find out where the dominos fall.