With many projecting the Cleveland Browns to take another quarterback with the top overall pick, could they throw everyone for a lop and take Penn State running back, Saquon Barkley?
At 0-7, and no clear answer at quarterback, the Cleveland Browns need all the help at various positions, including quarterback for obvious reasons. But let’s just say for purely hypothetical thought that they decide to either trade out of the top spot or stand pat and be in the envious position of choosing their franchise quarterback in UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold or Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph.
Again, this is all speculative and a lot can change between now and the 2018 NFL Draft down in Arlington, Texas, but what if the forementioned QB’s decide to stay another year?
While it is early, there are some rumblings suggesting that Darnold may return to USC for another year, due to his recent struggles, Rudolph may have the best pure arm, but plays in the Big 12 and Rosen is the ultimate wildcard with notable off-the-field issues.
Which leaves Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Washington State’s Luke Falk. Again, a lot can change between now and then, but outside of these six quarterbacks, Cleveland has too many holes to fill before tabbing one of them as QB No.29
Due to the pending free agency of running back Isaiah Crowell, the disappointing free-agent bust that is Kenny Britt and the season-ending injury of Canton-bound left tackle Joe Thomas, Cleveland will need to address LT, WR, RB in the first two rounds of what is expected to be a very talent-rich draft.
Perhaps the above statement is enough justification for the analytics-loving nerds in Berea to pass on the likes of Rosen, Darnold and Rudolph—I know sounds like a law firm—but could they do the unthinkable in taking a running back at number one overall?
To say that Heisman Trophy frontrunner in Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is the most explosive and exciting player in college football is an understatement. Every time he touches the ball, something big happens. He is perhaps the best all-purpose back in college since Reggie Bush.
Minus dating a Kardashian and receiving improper benefits, Barkley is a baller, and someone that Cleveland desperate needs from a talent perspective.
What they are doing to DeShone Kizer is akin to dysfunctional and immoral in yanking him twice in three games, Cody Kessler—as much as I loved him—doesn’t have an NFL quality arm and Kevin Hogan is a practice squad scrub at best, but thanks to all of the draft pick ammunition at their disposal, Cleveland could—once again trade UP into the first round and grab any of the top-tier QB’s who may fall.
So in theory if things fall the Browns’ way, Cleveland could get both Barkley AND either Rosen, Darnold, Rudolph, Falk or Allen.
A lot can happen and change between now and April, but as we’ve all come to knonw, never count out Cleveland in shaking things up on draft day.