CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Come Thursday night, anything and everything is possible.
That’s what makes the days leading up to the NFL Draft so fun and captivating.
And the Browns hold all the cards.
Everyone in the league is curious to see what Cleveland has in store and to be honest, the Browns might not be sure yet.
Myles Garrett is all but a foregone conclusion for the first overall pick. At least the defensive end from Texas A&M should be, but there has been internal debate over the past few weeks as to whether or not the Browns should pass on the consensus best overall player in the draft to take their next quarterback instead.
North Carolina quarterback and Mentor, Ohio native Mitchell Trubisky is widely believed to be the primary target for the Browns in a QB class that has not impressed those around the league this year as being worthy of top-end of the draft consideration.
This group that also includes Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes has done little to convince many that they are franchise saviors.
Watson and Mahomes impressed Browns head coach Hue Jackson during their workouts and interviews, including white board acumen, multiple league sources have told 92.3 The Fan and Jackson is also intrigued by Cal quarterback Davis Webb whom he coached at the Senior Bowl in January.
That doesn’t mean that any of them will end up with the Browns.
This is Sashi Brown’s call as the chief football executive for the franchise, not Jackson’s.
Let’s be honest, Trubisky would make for a great story.
The same one that Charlie Frye would have made. The same one that Brian Hoyer would have made. And the same one that LeBron James ultimately wrote the championship chapter for last June but that doesn’t mean, this time, it’s the right move for the Browns to try and make happen again.
Since the most recent changeover in January 2016, the Browns have been all about the non-traditional approach.
Sure, they’ve been mocked for it but to this point the execution of their plan has been nearly flawless as the front office positioned the franchise to be able to control the next 2 drafts by accumulating a combined 8 picks in the first 2 rounds for 2017 and 2018.
Taking a quarterback either at 1 or 12 or by moving up from 12 would qualify as the Browns doing the usual Browns things.
Like they did in 2007 with Brady Quinn, 2012 with Brandon Weeden and 2014 with Johnny Manziel.
Like the ghosts of Christmas past, the position, and the mistakes made with it, continue to haunt the Browns. It hovers over the organization like a thick black cloud of smoke while suffocating the franchise year after year after year.
The count since 1999 is up to 26 and there’s a good chance this fall a 27th name will eventually be added.
Brown continues to do his due diligence by exploring opportunities to move up from 12 back into the top 10 with multiple teams.
The consensus is that he’s doing it for Trubisky or even Watson.
What if Brown wanted to land a top corner or safety instead or reaching – again – for another quarterback?
Ohio State safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshon Lattimore, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, cornerback Marlon Humphry and defensive end Jonathan Allen as well as LSU safety Jamal Adams are all expected to be off the board when the Browns go back on the clock at No. 12.
Scouts and executives around the NFL believe this is the deepest and most talented class of defensive prospects in years and the Browns are in position to nab 2 of them to fill gaping holes on that side of the ball that saw the team ranked 25th or below in just about every relevant statistical category in 2016.
Avoiding the temptation to aggressively go after another QB early in the first round would be non-traditional by Browns standards.
It also would be a smart play.