Jets trade further cements that the Browns are taking a QB at No. 1

Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are taking a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, a point driven home on Saturday following a trade between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.

The Cleveland Browns embarked on their latest rebuilding project following the 2015 season with all eyes on the evening of April 26, 2018.

During the past two years, the Browns have jettisoned overpriced and under-performing veterans, built up a foundation of young players that should be with the team for years to come, and amassed a vault of draft picks and cap space that makes every other general manager in the league green with envy.

General manager John Dorsey dipped into those assets in the past week, most notably by trading for a bridge quarterback that may be worthy of the title in Tyrod Taylor, and a wide receiver that knows how to catch ball in Jarvis Landry. Dorsey also signed a two-down running back that no one will complain about because of where he went to college in Carlos Hyde.

(Let’s all just agree to move on from talking about the trades with the New England Patriots, shall we?)

Those were just a few of Dorsey’s several moves as he continues to reshape the Browns roster.

The true end of the beginning, however, will arrive at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 26 when the Browns open the 2018 NFL Draft by selecting a quarterback with the No. 1 overall selection.

The inevitability of the Browns selecting a quarterback was further cemented on Saturday when the New York Jets swung a deal with the Indianapolis Colts to acquire the No. 3 overall selection in the draft.

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The Jets sent three selections in this year’s draft – No. 6, No. 37 and No. 49 – plus a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Colts.

And with a quarterback group of 38-year-old Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, who is only 25 but has a damaged knee that is the equivalent of 80, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, there is little doubt the Jets are taking a quarterback.

There has been continued talk that the Browns will bypass a quarterback at the top of the draft so they can select Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. But the team has not gone through the past two years to get into a position to select a quarterback and then screw it up.

Today’s trade between the Jets and the Colts doesn’t change the Browns plans, but it does highlight for those still in denial about the situation in the importance of Dorsey selecting the quarterback the Browns want at No. 1.

It is obvious the Jets are selecting a quarterback at No. 3, and there is still a real chance the New York Giants will select one at No. 2 or trade that pick to a team that will. For Dorsey to bypass a quarterback at No. 1 in the hopes that the right quarterback will fall to the Browns at No. 4 is madness.

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The Browns are on the verge of finally fixing the quarterback situation and making the last two years of hard work and frustration pay off.

It’s all up to Dorsey to simply do the right thing come draft night.