With the Browns 2 first-round picks they have the chance to improve their team dramatically. The question then becomes what positions will they choose to address with so many needs on both sides of the ball? Many people assume they need to get a quarterback, but without having a team around the rookie quarterback there is no way he will succeed.
Presumably the Browns will draft the stud defensive end, Myles Garret from Texas A&M with their number 1 overall pick. His combine performance has albeit solidified this pick, as the Browns will be getting a premier pass rusher in a pass happy league, while also pairing him with Danny Shelton, Carl Nassib, and Emmanuel Ogbah. This would give the Browns the hope of pressuring the opposing quarterback from many angles, supposing that Nassib or Ogbah continue to develop from respectable showings in their rookie seasons.
The real question comes with the No. 12 pick in the draft. The Browns could select a quarterback depending on who falls to them or they could continue to build a strong team on both sides of the ball while waiting to find their quarterback. The quarterbacks that could be in play at No. 12 are Mitch Trubisky (UNC), Deshaun Watson (Clemson), and Deshone Kizer (Notre Dame). Each one of these players have flaws and most likely one or possibly two could be gone by the time this pick comes into play. This leaves the Browns in quite the predicament of choosing a leftover quarterback or going another year with Cody Kessler under center. Neither of which would be ideal for a young team that would be better suited to have a game manager under center rather than a rookie making “rookie mistakes”. The team could continue to draft defensive and look for a suitable cornerback to pair with unreliable and overpaid Joe Haden or a safety if Jamal Adams (LSU) or Malik Hooker (OSU) falls to them. But, this still does not address the quarterback position that is in dire need of a makeover, as is always the case with the Browns.
These leaves the best possible outcome to trade for a veteran option such as Jimmy Garoppolo or Kirk Cousins. The Garoppolo trade would come at a steep price as the latest rumblings said that the Patriots would require two first round picks back in return. This seems unlikely to happen due to the Browns prioritizing draft picks and not being on the cusp of being a winning team. The Kirk Cousins trade from the Redskins seems more unlikely right now, but depending on who comes in to run the front office things could change quickly. Cousins has reportedly said he wanted to know what the Redskins were planning to do with him and that quickly turned into “trade demand” rumors. But, one knows where there is smoke there is fire. The Redskins have already used the franchise tag on him for the past two years and Cousins is likely headed into unrestricted free agency next year. This would leave the Redskins in the position of losing him for no compensation at all (think Kevin Durant…not good for OKC). I believe as the draft approaches the Browns will turn up the heat in the pursuit of Kirk Cousins, as they have the picks to make a compelling trade offer. This would put the Browns in the great position of drafting stud Myles Garret and getting an above average quarterback in Kirk Cousins.
The Browns would go from 1-15 to lets say competitive and possibly around average or above average in one season. The Browns have the picks to make the trade happen, but now we need to see if they are willing to let those picks go to instantly improve their team.
Give me a follow at Brett_Ness4 on twitter for more insight. Draft analyst.