COMMENTARY – So, what’s more important, drafting a quarterback first overall or making sure you get the right player, regardless of where he’s taken? Ask Cleveland Browns fans that question and you get mixed answers.
Thanks, Daymon Johnson for writing my lead sentence to this story. The Cleveland Browns have outspoken fans about this topic, some downright passionate about this touchy subject.
I get the feeling the next week leading up to the NFL draft is going to be one of the most chaotic and undefined periods in football history. I’ve read stories about the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins all looking to move up to draft a quarterback. I read one publication that predicted that the Washington Redskins would move from the 13th slot in the first round all the way up to the first pick, which is as crazy a rumor as I’ve read in some time.
The point is, with anywhere from four to six signal callers possibly taken in the first round, there will be plenty of trades to be made and plenty of surprises that will happen.
The Cleveland Browns are in the driver seat. With plenty of ammunition in the first two rounds of the draft, John Dorsey, the team’s general manager, can make another splash like last season and solidify the team’s future. Unlike years past, free agency created hope. This draft could create a foundation.
I know our fearless leader at The Inscriber Magazine, Robert Cobb, is hoping the Cleveland Browns get a quarterback with the first pick and hope they can secure Saquon Barkley at number four. I think this is a franchise that can take a different path, and still get franchise players that will have an impact this year and for years to come.
What I’m trying to imply here is that a quarterback is not necessarily the best option with the first pick. There are questions regarding each prospect and Josh Allen of Wyoming, who continues to gain steam as the top overall pick, it’s more of a project than a savior at this moment. It may be a deep quarterback class, but it’s a flawed class as well.
What if the Cleveland Browns followed this kind of draft sequence?
With the first pick in the NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns select Saquon Barkley, running back from Penn State University.
With the fourth pick in the NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns select Bradley Chubb, defensive end, North Carolina State.
Don’t get all crazy when you read that. It’s a scenario that could work. Barkley is the best running back in this draft, although there is depth in the first three rounds. Barkley has been compared to Ezekiel Elliott, who turned out pretty good for the Dallas Cowboys. Chubb gives the team another pass rusher to book end with Myles Garrett.
Dorsey can then use his second-round picks to maneuver back into the first round, if he chooses. If a quarterback like Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph slips to the back end of the first round, it’s possible the Browns will make a deal. If not, and they believe that Rudolph will be available, he could be their pick at number 33. Dorsey can then use his second pick in the second round to grab an offensive lineman, possibly Connor Williams of Texas.
The idea is for this team, a franchise that hasn’t had much luck in the NFL draft in decades, to find the right fits for a plethora of positions.
I’m sure even Robert Cobb would agree.
There is also a possibility the Browns will not have to make a deal to get the players they need. It’s called draft magic.
Cleveland Browns fans hope some of that magic rubs off on this year‘s draft class. There’s a chance this franchise could reach mediocrity, a position it hasn’t been in for a number of years. All it takes is patience, commonsense, and the right draft strategy. I’ve laid out a plan for the Cleveland Browns to find success next week. I’m hoping management reads this and understands this is just a suggestion.
But in my opinion, it’s a pretty good one.