Cleveland Browns: Staff predictions for the first and fourth picks
By Randy Gurzi
Writer: Matt Stevenson
The Cleveland Browns own the top overall selection the 2018 NFL Draft and taking a stab at the best quarterback is the logical decision. Josh Rosen has not been mentioned frequently as the No. 1 pick in most mock drafts but the season of smokescreens is upon us.
Rosen is often knocked for missing two games with a concussion (including the Cactus Bowl) and being a free-minded thinker. There is little doubt he is the most polished quarterback if he clears his medical examinations and it’s highly doubtful any NFL team rules out a potential franchise quarterback for being mildly opinionated. Rosen has proven he has the ability to dissect a defense while being incredibly accurate and is as mechanically sound as it gets for college quarterback.
Sure, his frame is a bit slimmer than the “prototype quarterback” but it is not to an extreme measure by any means. The Cleveland Browns must draft who they feel is the best overall quarterback prospect and Rosen is the answer. Many consider it to be Josh Allen due to his elite size or Sam Darnold for his unproven potential. Others prefer the likes of Lamar Jackson or the spirited Baker Mayfield. The bottom line is that Josh Rosen is the best quarterback prospect in the draft. His elite ability to pick apart defenses and be consistently accurate should not be overlooked. Leadership concerns are a question – but the talent is undoubtedly there.
This is perhaps even more intriguing than what the Cleveland Browns do with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. With their quarterback of the future already selected there are several routes the Browns can go. However, taking Bradley Chubb would put Cleveland among the NFL’s best defensive lines. Pairing him with an already young core of 2017 No. 1 pick Myles Garrett and Emmanual Ogbah is certainly enticing for John Dorsey and company. Include the impressive rookie Larry Ogunjobi and the Browns quickly are quite the terrifying team to face for opposing quarterback. “Who let the Dawgs out” would be the best catch phrase this team has had in a long time and this defensive front will be out often.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley clearly is in the mix as well as is Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. However, the chance to add the best defensive end two years in a row while also adding your franchise quarterback is something the Browns can’t pass up.
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The defense will have a true identity and it will limit the amount of time opposing quarterbacks have to get rid of the ball – immediately taking pressure off of the rest of the defense. Barkley is the sexy pick but Chubb presents mismatches that no offense wants to see.