Browns general manager John Dorsey stepped up to the podium on Thursday in front of the Cleveland and national media at the NFL Scouting Combine.
He didn’t really reveal much as to what the team’s plan is at the top of the draft but did reveal that he’s open to teams making calls about possibly acquiring that top pick from Cleveland.
Dorsey said he’s open to talk about moving either the first and fourth overall pick which I’m sure any team especially at the top of the draft is open to trading but it all depends on if the return is good enough.
If Browns fans aren’t up in arms about these statements Dorsey made, don’t be. He’s been doing this line of business for a long time and it’s just that: business. I’m sure he’ll take calls and I’m sure teams will line up and make offers but at the end of the day, Dorsey will stay at the top and take the best quarterback in the draft.
Now as it pertains to that fourth overall pick, I think there’s a good chance that the Browns move down in the first round with that pick. Teams like the Broncos, Jets, Cardinals and Bills are all teams looking to address the quarterback position if they don’t land Kirk Cousins in free agency.
Unless the Indianapolis Colts trade down from the third overall pick, the Browns are in a prime spot at four to collect some more draft capital from either one of those teams in order for them to secure a quarterback such as Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson.
I personally wouldn’t move down from four because the Browns need elite talent on the roster and I think they’re in a great spot currently to land two of the very best prospects in the draft with the first and fourth overall picks.
They can take the quarterback and I believe it’ll be Sam Darnold at #1 and then with the likelihood that the Giants take a QB at #2 and the Colts taking Bradley Chubb at #3, the Browns would be in a spot to take either running back Saquon Barkley or defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick which either one would be a immediate impact on the roster.
Now let’s take a look at some other things Dorsey said (or didn’t say) during his press conference.
On Danny Shelton:
Dorsey did mention that he has met with Shelton’s agent while in Indianapolis and Shelton’s fifth year option has to be exercised by May 3. Shelton is entering his fourth season with the Browns since being drafted 12th overall in the 2015 Draft.
He’s been a solid player for the Browns but with the depth at the position, 2018 could be a make or break season for Shelton. He had 33 tackles and a pass deflection in 14 games last season and Pro Football Focus rated him as the 35th best defensive lineman in all of football.
With the Browns needing talent and it doesn’t hurt to have too much depth especially in the trenches, I’d expect the team to pick up Shelton’s option for the 2019 season.
On adding a veteran quarterback:
Dorsey stated it’s his job to get the team better at every position and he’ll explore every opportunity to make the team better.
I think it’s obvious the Browns not having a veteran presence in that quarterback room made things difficult for rookie DeShone Kizer as well as second year quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.
It’s apparent that they find a veteran option this offseason to come in and not only be a teacher to Kizer and the eventual rookie quarterback but also come in and help the team win some football games which they haven’t done in recent years.
Free agency begins with the legal tampering period on March 12 and I fully expect the Browns to sign a veteran quarterback very quickly in the process.
On the quarterback prospects:
Dorsey is a believer in the hand size of a quarterback especially in the environment like Cleveland with the snow and rain during football season. Said all the quarterbacks’ hand sizes were acceptable as they were measured on Thursday morning.
When asked about his rankings, Dorsey said they’re an evolving thing and that everyone will know his rankings come draft day which tells me whoever the Browns take at #1 will obviously be the top rated quarterback.
On the running back prospects:
Dorsey stated that he thinks it’s a really good draft for running backs and I would agree with that because I think there’s at least six prospects who can start on an NFL team from Day 1.
He also stated that just because he made that statement doesn’t mean the top rated back which he was alluding to Penn State’s Saquon Barkley can’t be a franchise difference-maker.
I think Barkley is a very talented football player and if the Browns were to be able to draft him that they should. I also believe though that if they think Minkah Fitzpatrick or Bradley Chubb are both available and they have them rated over Barkley, they should take one of those guys and don’t think twice about it.
The Browns can get playmakers at the running back position in the second round such as Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones or Sony Michel and I think they can be as productive as Barkley in Todd Haley’s offense.