The Cleveland Browns are the most volatile, interesting team going into the NFL Draft, hands down. As of now, they hold the No. 1 and No. 12 picks in the first round, along with a bevy of picks elsewhere — enough capital to, say, trade up and capture Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett with the first pick and add UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky with another pick.
That scenario seems very much in play. Mike Silver is reporting the Browns have contacted at least three teams in the top-8 about a possible trade up.
Chasing Trubisky? @MikeSilver tells NFL Network 'at least 3 teams in the top 8 have been contacted by the Browns' about a possible trade up.
— Marc Sessler (@MarcSessler) April 25, 2017
Given the reported rift between the front office and coaching staff on who to take with the first pick, this seems like a solution which could satisfy everyone.
One potential partner is the Carolina Panthers who, at pick No. 8, could trade back if certain players are off the board, according to Mike Garafolo.
Panthers (8) are a trade-back possibility if a few guys (i.e. Fournette) aren't there. https://t.co/MxnPACpfBA
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 25, 2017
The obvious problem here is that the eighth pick may be too late for the Browns to land Trubisky if a team such as the Chicago Bears or Jacksonville Jaguars pulls the trigger on a quarterback earlier. However, should Trubisky fall that far, it makes sense for the Panthers to trade back, as they can afford to have a lower pick in the first round thanks to a roster which is better than most teams in the top 10.
The Browns must be should be sure that everyone in the organization is all-in on Trubisky before they pick him, be it through trading up, at No. 1, or at No. 12. If head coach Hue Jackson, brought in because of his pedigree at the quarterback position, doesn’t think Trubisky will be a franchise cornerstone, that should end the discussion.
Cleveland is at a unique point where no team has ever been. It can afford to be bad for another year, but if its drafts Trubisky, this front office probably won’t get another chance given its outsider nature.
Sashi Brown and Co. have to get it right, or the Browns will be a laughingstock yet again.