Rumor: Browns willing to trade one of their first-round picks in 2018
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey is reportedly willing to trade one of the team’s first-round draft picks under the right scenario.
Cleveland Browns fans and media members have worked themselves into a frenzy the past few years as the team has made several trades involving draft picks.
The most notable ones have revolved around the quarterback position.
In 2016, the Browns sent the No. 2 overall selection in the draft to the Philadelphia Eagles, who subsequently selected quarterback Carson Wentz, who was last seen on the sidelines at Super Bowl 52 watching quarterback Nick Foles lead the Eagles to their first NFL title since 1960.
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In 2017, the Browns swung a deal with the Houston Texans that allowed Houston to select quarterback DeShaun Watson and the Browns to pocket a first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. That pick turned into the No. 4 overall selection in large part because Watson, like Wentz, suffered a season-ending ACL injury last fall.
(We need to pause, for just a moment, to remind everyone that head coach and alleged “quarterback whisperer” Hue Jackson was fully on board with those particular moves.)
Those types of trades are a relic of the past, however, now that “noted football man” John Dorsey has taken over the role of Browns general manager. Dorsey has populated the front office with other “noted football men” and the Browns will certainly have no intention of making those type of trades come draft weekend.
Or will they?
According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the possibility that the Browns will trade one of their first round picks – No. 1 overall or No. 4 overall — is very much on the table. And it is not just the Browns that may be open for business:
"Coming out of Super Bowl week, one rumor I’ve heard from so many places is that the top four picks in this draft are for sale. The Cleveland Browns wouldn’t trade both the first and fourth picks, but they will take calls on moving one of them. The New York Giants (No. 2 pick) and the Indianapolis Colts (No. 3 pick) will also consider trading down."
It gets even better, however, as Miller goes on to report that Dorsey was open to trading the No. 1 overall pick under the right scenario:
"Regarding the Browns and the first overall pick in the draft, I was told by multiple sources and confirmed with others that general manager John Dorsey would have aggressively shopped the selection if he had pulled off a trade for quarterback Alex Smith."
The Chiefs did not want to send Smith to another AFC team, however, nor did they want to move him to a team that would not reward him with a lucrative new contract, which is why he is now a member of the Washington Redskins and $71 million richer.
Of course, if Dorsey was willing to trade away the No. 1 overall selection if Smith was a member of the Browns, it would be safe to presume that if the Browns sign former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency then the pick would be back up for sale.
It seems unbelievable to think that Dorsey would be willing to move either of those first-round picks, especially since he believes the roster is lacking in “real players.” The Browns need another infusion of talent this year and that talent should ideally come from the draft, rather than using cap space to sign a bunch of veterans who might only provide a short-term bump.
Next: Baker Mayfield gaining traction as No. 1 pick
But after everything that went on during the Analytics Wars of the past two years, it would almost be worth it to see Dorsey make a trade just to watch people fall all over themselves to justify the deals since they were made by a “noted football man.”