It’s definitely smoke screen time around the NFL. With the draft itself set to kick off in just a few days, teams are sending a bunch of different signals to the media in an attempt to gain a upper-hand over their competition.
The most-interesting dynamic heading into the annual event has to be what the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers plan to do with the first two picks in the draft.
It has long been concluded that Cleveland would nab former Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first pick. That’s been thrown for a loop in recent weeks with reports suggesting that the team is torn between Garrett and former North Carolina signal caller Mitch Trubisky. Meanwhile, San Francisco is trying desperately to move down from the second pick.
Sitting at three, the Chicago Bears are the one team that’s most impacted by what Cleveland and San Francisco do. They were previously linked to former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, which makes sense even after the team signed Mike Glennon last month.
Now comes this report from NFL Media’s Chris Trapasso indicating that Chicago is the team most interested in Trubisky. He goes on to report that the Browns would have to pick the quarterback first overall in order to secure his services.
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) April 23, 2017
There’s a whole heck of a lot going on here.
Despite the need for a long-term solution at quarterback, it’s highly unlikely San Francisco would spend the No. 2 pick on a signal caller. It has Brian Hoyer as a stop-gap option and will assuredly make a run at Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency next March.
That means the second pick is a prime position for another quarterback-needy team to move up to. Of course, this is dependent on the Browns actually deciding Garrett is the best option at No. 1 overall. As of right now, that’s not known.
“The feeling on the part of the front office, sources say, is that the Browns are ready to draft their quarterback of the future and might not want to risk losing him if they try to trade up or hope he falls to them at No. 12,” Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reported late last week.
There’s surely a scenario in play here that suggests Cleveland could double down early in the draft, trading its vast amount of draft capital to move up to No. 2 for Trubisky. It’s a deal that would enable the team to jump Chicago.
In addition to the first overall pick, Cleveland boasts the 12th pick in the first round on Thursday night. It also has two second-round picks this year and three second-round picks in 2018. That’s a lot to work with when it comes to a potential trade.
In any event, this is one of the stories we’re definitely going to be watching when the draft kicks off in Philadelphia on Thursday. In no way would it be a surprise to see Chicago and Cleveland get into a bidding war for the second overall pick.