How Cleveland Could Fleece The Draft

The Browns have a new GM in John Dorsey. There is no predicting what exactly he could do in the near future for that franchise. Obviously, with 7 top 100 picks in the draft, he and the staff have a great opportunity. I'm introducing a few ideas here that could maximize those opportunities.

There is still some mystery behind Ryan Pace's 2017 draft strategy. Some claim Mike Glennon was signed to distract from the desire to draft Mitchell Trubisky. What we do know is that Pace kept his interest in Trubisky as secretive as possible. This was mainly to give Cleveland the semblance that passing on him at #1 may still leave them with an opportunity and tame others from seeking a trade up. For 2018, Cleveland should manipulate others in the opposite way.

Josh Rosen has made his disinterest in the Browns apparent. "I'd rather be a lower pick at the right team than a higher one at the wrong team" he said at the Cactus Bowl. Cleveland could simply ignore this and try to make it work. Another plan is to make everyone else believe they will do just that. Because Rosen is generally regarded as the top QB in the draft, a decent number of suitors should have interest in him. All of those suitors should believe the Browns are squarely ready to take Rosen, even if it means holding him for ransom for a post-draft trade. The most likely to accept a pre-draft trade is the Giants. This is only one spot and because Cleveland is threatening to take their #1 option, the Giants sacrifice the few mid-round selections needed to just takeover the top spot. This means Cleveland still has the #2 pick and they got something instead of a cantankerous young QB.

Now that they are picking #2, what do they do with that? The next QB Cleveland has got to target is Sam Darnold, but he isn't the pick here. Picking after Cleveland is Indianapolis, who has no need for a QB but desperately needs playmakers in multiple places. The Browns stand very little chance for the Colts to select their QB or trade out of their spot. The player they could miss out on if they don't take him here is Saquon Barkley. This is the best player in the draft and a need for IND. So Barkley is their first player taken and IND likely grabs Bradley Chubb.

Pick #4 is where they can get their QB in Darnold. The best case scenario sees them add a veteran bridge QB in the offseason. Clearly, Darnold could use some grooming and Kizer could develop into a strong backup. Bridge QBs never last the whole season with a top-5 rookie QB breathing down their neck, but the whole season wouldn't ride on Darnold's shoulders. If by any chance IND traded away their pick for a ransom to a team that selected Darnold, the Browns have the option to settle on Baker Mayfield or Josh Allen. My money would be on Darnold being available though.

Beyond this, with their top-100 picks, the greatest positions of need include WR and all of their secondary. The draft is pretty deep with those.

I've seen quite a few mock drafts where Darnold is #1 to the Browns and if in anyway the Giants feel better about Rosen over Darnold, I'd have to believe this is how it would go down.

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.