In a draft that features potentially up to six quarterbacks that can be drafted in the first round, the Cleveland Browns are certainly sitting in an enviable position. They hold not only the top pick of the draft, but the fourth pick as well.
That means that they not only can have any quarterback of their choosing, but can possibly even have their pick of the top non-quarterback player in the draft just by sitting back. That potentiality was made even more likely by a recent trade, the New York Jets giving up a trio of second-round draft picks to move up from six to three with the Indianapolis Colts.
The top three picks in the draft, in order, now feature the Browns, the New York Giants, and then the Jets, making it quite possible that all three of them will select a quarterback, though the Giants are sort of the wildcard. Eli Manning is clearly nearing the end of his career, but they drafted Davis Webb in the third round. When will they ever have the second pick in the draft, though?
Should quarterback account for the first three picks in the draft, then Cleveland should be thrilled, though the trade I think makes it even more likely that the Browns have to take a quarterback with their first pick, because if they don’t, they risk potentially being down to their third option, and you don’t want that at the most important position.
Assuming they take a quarterback first, whomever it might be, they stand a great chance of still being able to land somebody like running back Saquon Barkley or edge defender Bradley Chubb. Barkley would be a stellar addition for a young offense paired with wide receiver Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon, especially with a mobile option at quarterback with Tyrod Taylor while the first-rounder waits.
Chubb could make a deadly pairing with last year’s first-overall draft selection, Myles Garrett, who had a bit of an injury-riddled rookie season but was productive when he was on the field, displaying the obvious potential that resulted in him being the near-unanimous favorite to be the top pick in that class.
They could have their choice of any number of players beyond that as well if they like, such as defensive backs Denzel Ward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Derwin James. They could choose to trade back, as they frequently do, and recoup additional draft picks.
While that has been their previous mode of operations, the front office under their new general manager may operate differently. But just look at what the Colts were able to get from the Jets by moving down only three spots. It’s tempting.
Of course, it seems that we talk year after year of how the table is set for the Browns to begin the turnaround, and it has so routinely fallen through. The risk of busting is always present. But it’s hard to imagine them not at least improving to a modest degree.