Report: Browns likely to make play for Alex Smith, draft QB at No. 1

By Jesse Reed

The Cleveland Browns won’t get out of the NFL’s basement until they land a quarterback. The franchise knows this and has already stated the No. 1 priority this offseason is fixing the quarterback situation.

Now, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, we have an idea about how the Browns will look to attack it. Cabot wrote on Sunday that she believes the Browns will make a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for Alex Smith and will also use the No. 1 overall pick to draft a quarterback.

“Even if the Browns try to trade for Smith — and I believe they will — I think they’ll still draft a QB at No. 1. They have their pick of the lot and an opportunity to transform the franchise if they find their QB of the future.”

This is a sound strategy. It’s also one Alex Smith is very familiar with. He’s been the bridge before, both in San Francisco and Kansas City. Even after having a career year with the Chiefs in 2017, it’s widely known that the franchise is now open to trading him, with Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings.

If Cleveland does trade for Smith, then it would have the freedom to draft a guy like Josh Allen. He’s clearly not ready to take over an NFL franchise but has tantalizing attributes that have the NFL world in a tizzy. He makes the kind of throws that only a few have ever been able to make — effortlessly driving the ball across the field on out-routes, and the like. His arm is as strong as anyone’s ever seen, and he has both the size and athleticism teams covet.

The Browns are said to be enamored with Allen, so this makes all the sense in the world. If they land Smith, then they’ll have at least a year, if not longer, to develop the Wyoming product and get him ready for the pro game.