Cleveland Browns: Taking stock of the first pick

Photo Credit: BreakingT
Photo Credit: BreakingT /

The NFL Draft is six weeks away. After a flurry of trades, the Cleveland Browns drew rave reviews from local and national media. However, despite filling a number of holes, they head towards the draft with the same questions as before.

The more things change the more they stay the same. After a week of trades and free agent acquisitions, the Cleveland Browns have fundamentally reshaped their roster. However, despite making investments in players like Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde, the question of what to do with the first overall pick is still unclear.

In what has been heralded as the most deft move of their recent activity, the Browns managed to keep all five of their picks in the first two rounds of the draft, and there is no shortage of opinions on who they should take with their all-important first overall pick.

This means Browns fans still have six more weeks to debate who the pick will be. As the word “value” gets thrown around, I see the “do they or don’t they take a quarterback” debate like choosing a stock.

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Will they take “their” quarterback? CBS Sports analyst, Will Brinson, thinks it’s Josh Allen. Choosing a quarterback is like choosing a hot stock. It has the potential to be the next Amazon. Or it can be a stock that is quickly worth just pennies on the dollar.

How long would a stock have to drop before you dropped it from your portfolio? And more importantly, how long will it take you to recover from the opportunity you miss by chasing, and missing, on the next hot stock?

And whether Browns fans like it or not, reputable sources still believe Saquon Barkley is in play. Choosing Barkley is like investing in a utilities stock. He’s the safe pick and will pay a dividend every year that allows you to take other risks.

However, detractors will point out that a team can find a player with 70-80 percent of the talent Barkley has later in the draft. It’s hard to argue with that, except to ask if you would be happy if a particular investment left 20-30 percent on the table because you didn’t pay slightly more for a better stock?

Still others suggest the Browns may find a door number three named Bradley Chubb.

"“Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. The Browns still need a quarterback even though they traded for Taylor, but they don’t go quarterback at No. 1 because they know a top quarterback will be available at No. 4. This all comes down to how Dorsey views the quarterback class. If the Browns pass on a quarterback with the first pick, it means he thinks all of the top quarterbacks are similar in caliber and he’d be happy with the vast majority of them as the long-term answer in Cleveland.” — Sean Wagner-McGough, CBS Sports"

In a nutshell, it comes down to risk tolerance. And the answers are easy when you’re telling other people how to invest their money. It’s less clear when it applies to your situation. Perhaps if we can glean anything from what John Dorsey has done in the last week, it’s that he’s minimizing his risk, whatever the pick is.

Next: Browns trade away their best cornerback

By addressing key needs by trades and via free agency, the Cleveland Browns can draft who they consider the best on their board. History has shown that Dorsey is a solid evaluator of talent. As Browns fans begin to feel optimistic about the coming season, we can only hope that continues.