As we grind away towards the NFL Draft which is 24 days away, the rumor mill keeps on churning as to what the Cleveland Browns will do with the first and fourth overall picks.
MMQB and SI’s Peter King has had an interesting tidbit in his weekly Monday morning article that he got from a “Friend of Dorsey”.
FOD (Friend of Dorsey) thinks Browns will go Allen-Saquon at 1 and 4. What would an April MMQB be without another draft rumor?! This friend of Cleveland GM John Dorsey believes he’ll go Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen over Sam Darnold with the first overall pick, keep the fourth pick, and take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. “I would be surprised if he traded down,” FOD told me. “This would be his chance to take his two offensive cornerstones for the next eight or 10 years.” The most interesting thing there? That FOD thinks Dorsey will not trade. I think that’s great. Cleveland’s been very good at trading and stockpiling, and not very good at drafting, in the last few years. I hope Dorsey’s more about the (relatively) sure things instead of Cleveland leading the league in draft picks.
This isn’t the first time that King has connected Josh Allen with Cleveland as he did the same thing back on January 1 via a veteran scout:
So in my rounds on the phone over the weekend, I heard this from a veteran college scout, a man who was one of the first to trumpet Carson Wentz as a high first-rounder during his final season at North Dakota State, on the fate of the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and on what Cleveland GM John Dorsey might do: “I believe there is no way Cleveland, at number one, will pass on [Wyoming quarterback] Josh Allen. This is Wentz reincarnated. Allen’s a perfect Dorsey quarterback. Just watch.”
Josh Allen, he of the very shaky junior season at Wyoming, the first overall pick four months from now. Hey, I’m just the messenger.
Allen is reportedly in the running for the first overall selection along with USC’s Sam Darnold according to reports.
Allen has the physical tools teams love in a potential franchise quarterback but poor decision making, a lack of anticipation and accuracy issues leave fans scarce of banking on the Wyoming quarterback as a future elite quarterback yet scouts and media personalities like Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock love the prospect.
Dorsey banked on a prospect with a huge arm last year in the draft when he was the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs and moved up 17 spots to draft Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech.
Mahomes looked promising in his one start last season for the Chiefs and now is being given the keys to the franchise after the Chiefs traded Alex Smith to Washington earlier this offseason. If Dorsey thinks Allen is the guy to bring the Browns back to prominence, he’ll be the first pick in few weeks.
The Browns will start bringing in the quarterbacks for their pre-draft visits this week and I’m sure at the end of the day, Sam Darnold will be the guy they end up selecting with the top pick.
The Barkley selection would be very interesting. There’s no doubt that Barkley is a talented football player and is deserving to go inside the top 10. Some have even touted him as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson in 2007.
However, drafting a running back that high would go against what John Dorsey has done in the past.
During his five years as general manager of the Chiefs, Dorsey didn’t draft a running back in the first two rounds in any of those drafts.
He selected Kareem Hunt, the NFL’s leading rusher in 2017 with the 86th overall selection (third round). He also selected De’Anthony Thomas (4th round-2014) and Knile Davis (3rd round-2013) in previous drafts.
Even where Dorsey got started in the Packers organization, they generally don’t draft running backs in the early rounds. Eddie Lacy in 2013 and Brandon Jackson in 2007 were the only running backs selected in the first two rounds by Green Bay in their last 15 draft classes.
Dorsey doesn’t normally select at the top of the draft so there could be an exception for a talent like Barkley but I don’t really see him changing his philosophy just to please a fan base or even an owner like Jimmy Haslam.