It sure doesn’t look like the Cleveland Browns are ready to use the top pick on a quarterback, as one report indicates they’re going to end up with Jimmy Garoppolo.
This doesn’t necessarily mean Cleveland won’t target a quarterback in the first round, however. Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft with both the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks, they have some flexibility.
If the Browns do secure Garoppolo, then it stands to reason they’ll have to part ways with some of their draft currency, meaning that No. 12 pick could be in play. However, the smart move would be to give up no more than the top pick of the second round, which is darn-near a first-round pick (New England’s reported asking price). That way they would still have the two first-rounders to bring in a couple of impact players at the top of the draft.
Speaking of which, it’s highly likely the Browns are eyeballing pass rusher Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall. They could also be targeting Clemson’s Deshaun Watson at No. 12, as one report indicates they are enamored with him, just not at No. 1 (more on that here).
One other angle at play here is that, if Garoppolo does end up in Cleveland, it seems Robert Griffin III’s days are numbered. He was underwhelming when he did play last year, and the team has been extremely noncommittal about his future.
There are a lot of moving parts at play here. We’ll continue to monitor the rumor mill, which should be running awfully hot in the months to come leading up to free agency and the draft.