The Cleveland Browns are trading for Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Any move the Browns make has implications in the 2018 NFL Draft, but trading for a quarterback is a huge move that could shake things up.
This could also give the Browns a chance to take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 1 pick. Here’s why:
The Browns needed a quarterback more than they needed a RB. Not anymore.
NFL media’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier this week that the Penn State star was “firmly in the mix” at No. 1. Barkley tested off the charts at the NFL combine, so much so that he’s now the betting favorite to go No. 1 in the draft. Whenever his name is mentioned these days, the question has followed: Will he go No. 1?
The Browns had an easy opt-out to that question, even if they hadn’t been using it: They desperately needed a quarterback. Having an amazing running back is an obvious plus, but quarterback is a vastly more important position in the NFL. This draft has quarterbacks full of controversy, but picking among Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson is still a position some teams would love to be in.
With Taylor on board, the Browns can now afford to look at other positions. Maybe their gaze wanders to the offensive line, or maybe to somewhere on defense. Or maybe it stays on Barkley.
QB: Tyrod Taylor
RB: Duke Johnson
WR: Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman
TE: David Njoku
Draft capital: four picks in the top 35
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 9, 2018
I’ve had Darnold here in the previous two mocks as well. After the combine this past week, it’s sounding as if this pick could come down to him or Saquon Barkley. Darnold is the best QB in this class, in my opinion. However, I also could see Josh Allen as the choice here, since he has more experience in the cold, the big arm and the hand size [10⅛ inches] to diminish fumbling concerns in bad AFC North weather. If Cleveland addresses its quarterback situation in free agency (AJ McCarron?), then I think Barkley is the pick here.
Well, Cleveland has addressed its quarterback situation, even if it wasn’t in free agency.
But the Browns’ next move is far from certain
Maybe Cleveland will make Barkley the first running back to go No. 1 since Penn State’s Ki-Jana Carter in 1995. But maybe that won’t happen. Here are just a few other options:
- The Browns could trade that No. 1 pick and move down.
- Another player could catch the Browns’ eye before the draft goes down.
- The Browns could still take another quarterback, because with their history you really can’t be too careful.
- The Browns could decide running back isn’t an important enough position for the No. 1 pick.
- It’s the Browns. Anything’s on the table here.
Penn State backup QB Tommy Stevens isn’t shying away. What do you think will happen?
26 going #1 overall lol
— Tommy Stevens (@TMS_II) March 9, 2018