In two moves that shook the NFL landscape within a two-hour span, the Browns acquired the former Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl wideout and Buffalo Bills QB for a 2018 third, fourth and a 2019 seventh round pick.
New Browns general manager John Dorsey should be arrested for grand larceny in pulling off two such shrewd and bold moves. and the best part? Cleveland still has both their first round picks at No.1 and No.4 and their two second rounders at 34 and 35.
Shortly after acquiring Landry and Taylor from Miami and Buffalo, Cleveland shipped 2017 second-round pick and former Toledo Catholic and Notre Dame standout DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers for Damarious Randall.
So in three trades, Cleveland added one of the NFL’s best young wideouts, a savvy. mobile and talented quarterback and one of the best young corners. As NFL Network analyst Ian Rappaport stated shortly after the moves, the Browns aren’t so funny no more.
How does this impact their plans for the upcoming draft, roughly seven weeks away?
As I posted on my Facebook shortly after the two deals they landed the perfect bridge quarterback in Taylor and may have also showed their hand as to what their draft plans may be.
1.) in trading for Taylor, they now have a bridge mentor for whichever QB they like, which my GUT tells me is Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield at No.4. Getting Taylor gives them a vet who can still make plays while letting the rookie sit.
2.) I’m really beginning to believe that Saqoun Barkley is now in play at No.1 overall as now we have a QB who is also a threat on the ground (in Taylor) possibly handing off to a franchise-rebooting RB in Barkley, which will force teams to honor the run.
Now Cleveland has an projected offense that features:
WR1: Josh Gordon
WR2: Jarvis Landry
TE: David Njoku
RB: Saquon Barkley (??)
QB: Tyrod Taylor/ Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield.
Do the Browns pass on a possible franchise type of QB in Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen for the likes of Mayfield? Do they seriously entertain the idea of taking a running back—albeit, very talented—in Barkley, top overall? There are many more scenarios that also come into play now, such as tabbing NC State pass rusher Bradley Chubb No.1 or/and Minzkah Fitzpatrick out of Alabama.
But suddenly, the Browns have the look and a real football GM running the show in Dorsey that is going all out in getting real football players, instead of betting on analytics and numbers.
Whatever the case, thanks to their blockbuster moves, Cleveland is suddenly on fire again, much like the Cuyahoga decades ago, no longer a running joke and could very well shape both free agency and the draft. Who’s laughing now?