Browns draft path becomes easier as top two quarterbacks declare
The Cleveland Browns 2018 draft class may not include quarterbacks Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, but the Browns can still gain an advantage throughout the draft because those two are in it.
Analysts have touted the 2018 NFL Draft class as one of the best in years for those looking to find a quarterback. On Wednesday night, Cleveland Browns fans saw this exciting quarterback class begin to take shape as UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen declared for the draft rather than return to school for another year.
Mere minutes later USC quarterback and Rosen’s crosstown rival, Sam Darnold, announced through Instagram that he too would be heading to the next level and was entering the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Browns have five of the top 64 picks in this year’s draft, including the No. 1 and No. 4 overall selections. Of course, this is an exciting (and incredibly important) draft class for the Browns. But with Rosen and Darnold declaring, it begs the question: what if general manager John Dorsey says no to both?
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Again, the Browns possess approximately one metric ton of picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Needless to say, there are a bunch of different ways that Dorsey and the Browns could play this. Perhaps Rosen or Darnold is not the guy Dorsey is searching for and he has his eye on a different quarterback?
Despite Oklahoma’s loss to Georgia on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl, Heisman winner Baker Mayfield has made himself a legitimate top quarterback candidate in this class. His eye-popping numbers tend to negate his small stature, at least in the eyes of some fans.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback. He noted that according to one college scout, Dorsey might go the way of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen:
"“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.”"
But what if, for a second, we disregard all quarterback options? What if, for whatever reason, the Browns choose not to take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick? Well, this is when the 2018 NFL Draft becomes a ton of fun, especially in the later rounds.
You see, the more quarterback talent that declares for the draft, the further other talent gets pushed down the board.
Since this quarterback class is being talked of so highly, it is easy to envision plenty of teams reaching for quarterbacks while high-end talent at other positions slip right into Cleveland’s hands.
If the Browns wanted to play it that way, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley might turn out to be the top pick of 2018’s draft class. In that case, a big congratulations to Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. Not only will he have survived the offseason, but he will likely start in 2018 with much more talent surrounding him.
Next: Browns to interview offensive coordinator Ken Zampese
One way or another, this Browns draft class has a chance to be generational. What is interesting is just how the Browns decide to go into their draft come April.