The 2016 NFL Draft could see a lot of firsts. In fact, I projected a defensive back to the #1 pick in the draft come 4/28. But the Cleveland Browns have been quiet, picking at #2.
Everyone has assumed that the Browns will draft one of the two top QB prospects, North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz and Cal’s Jared Goff. But the latest trade rumor listed below would give the team a similar package to what they had after trading with the Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones trade) in 2011.
The Browns signed Robert Griffin III, a draft bust looking for a new start and could fit Hue Jackson’s style of offense, if they’re sold on him being the QB then this trade down idea makes perfect sense.
In the trade, you’ll see that they acquire the Bills no.19 pick (1st rounder), no. 49 (2nd rounder) and 2017 3rd rounder, the Broncos no. 31 pick and a player that hasn’t been named. The Browns would be getting two 1st rounders this year, a 2nd rounder in this draft, a 3rd in 2017 and of course the Bills would be in position for either QB to replace Tyrod Taylor, and the Broncos get Taylor, who will start for them right away.
Pick Outlook w/trade: 19, 31, 32, 49, 65, 99, 138, 141, 172, 173, 176, and 223
The trade would give them twelve draft picks for the entire draft. They have ammo to trade up if they so choose to do that.
Pick No. 19 could target OT Taylor Decker, WR Lequan Treadwell, QB Paxton Lynch, and DE Shaq Lawson
At no.19, you could see the Browns address the WR position. If Lequan Treadwell falls here, I can’t see them passing on him. Paxton Lynch would possibly be there, now that Denver would be off the QB market…
The Browns also could get in on the OL spree by drafting Taylor Decker from Ohio State to play RT opposite of Joe Thomas. A pass rusher like Shaq Lawson also could make up for Barkevious Mingo not stepping up to be that key rusher.
If they take a WR here, it’ll be due to the recent news about Josh Gordon… They could double down at WR between any of their early picks.
Pick No. 31/32 the Browns could target S Karl Joseph, EDGE Noah Spence, WR Corey Coleman/Tyler Boyd/Michael Thomas, OC Ryan Kelly, OT Jason Spriggs, and QB Connor Cook.
At no. 31 the Browns would be in position where they have back-to-back picks with the opening pick in round 2, the second day of the draft at their disposal. They could look at West Virginia S Karl Joseph to replace Tashaun Gipson who bolted town in March. They also could see former OSU DE Noah Spence as an EDGE option if they go WR or OT at #19.
On the offensive side, they could draft WR again, double up at 31/32, or draft within the OL. Ryan Kelly from Alabama is a name to keep an eye on, especially to replace Alex Mack who opted out to sign with Atlanta. Any of the WRs could go at either pick if they can’t draft Treadwell.
Picks no. 49 and 65 they could lean towards a QB, WR Braxton Miller, OC Nick Martin, LB Kentrell Brothers, DE Bronson Kaufusi, DT Vernon Butler, S Jeremy Cash/Justin Simmons, OT Germain Ifedi, and OG Cody Whitehair
In the mid-second and early-third, there are a variety of prospects but let’s keep it amongst these names. Braxton Miller could be the second WR they draft and he may be there at pick 65, and will sure be there at pick 49. Nick Martin can play C or G because Cameron Erving is also versatile, Whitehair would be a true G. QB is always in play in rounds 2 and 3, could be Hackenberg, Prescott, Cook, Driskel, even Doughty.
On defense they could look at DL for the first time. Kaufusi and Butler are both guys who can play with their hand on the ground and cause trouble in the interior line; this helps NT Danny Shelton, a rookie from a year ago. A safety like Justin Simmons, Jeremy Cash, or even Keanu Neal could land in Cleveland if they can’t get Karl Joseph.
But you definitely get the vibe that the Browns are somehow trying to do something different. After failing to draft a QB as the face numerous times, it might be best to let someone like RGIII try to resurrect his career and rebuild with a young core.
If Joe Thomas gets traded they could add another high draft pick. This trade looks like a long shot and very costly for Buffalo and Denver to pull despite being in their probable best interest to do so. I see this is an exploration method to see if they can get the same package that the Rams got for RGIII in 2012, otherwise there won’t be any sort of deal.
I still wouldn’t count QB completely off the table in the draft, even if they trade down at #2. Remember there are guys like Jeff Driskel, Dak Prescott, Connor Cook, Christian Hackenberg, and Brandon Doughty, all whom will be selected as some point during the draft’s three days. They could decide to develop one of these five, if they miss out or trade out of range for the three QBs likely to drafted in the 1st round.
Either way, the Browns could decide on a trade from the Eagles, who’ve said that they may draft Wentz or Goff if they were to fall to them at pick no. 8. This is a perfect scenario for the Browns to accumulate extra picks to try to build this team to succeed, but it’s going to take patience, diligence, and of course a lot of talent.