If the season ended today the Browns would be holding the first and twenty-first pick in the firs round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Last season Cleveland traded the second pick in the draft to Philadelphia who picked up Carson Wentz. In return they got the Eagles first round pick in 2016 and 2017.
The Browns also made a deal with the Titans that gave them Tennessee’s second round pick in 2017 in return for moving up to take offensive tackle Jack Conklin at #8.
With all these deals Browns GM Sashi Brown made Cleveland set itself up to rebuild in this year’s draft with 4 picks in the first two rounds. If the season ended today they would be picking #1 and #21 (via Philadelphia) in the first round and #33 and #49 (via Tennessee) in the second round.
In the 2016 draft the Browns picked up speedy receiver Corey Coleman up in the first round and went defense with the first pick in round two with Emmanuel Ogbah. With four picks in the sixty next year Cleveland could be a force in the AFC North in the coming years.
With an 0-10 record the Browns have the inside track to the first pick. San Fransisco is nipping at their heels at 1-8. The Bears and Jaguars have two wins and will likely have a top five pick. Fortunately, or unfortunately for the Browns their last six games will all feature teams who are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. With two games against the Steelers still on the horizon and a road trip to Buffalo those are all tough matchups for a team that is rebuilding. The three home games still on the schedule against the Giants, Bengals and Chargers the Browns will have to hope for some bad weather in December to neutralize their opposition’s potent offenses.
If the season shook out exactly like it is today and Cleveland had picks 1, 21, 33 and 49 lets look at some of the possibilities for the team in the draft.
1. Myles Garrett DE, Texas A&M
Garrett is an explosive pass rusher who has tortured QBs in the SEC. If you can combine him with Ogbah, their second pick from last year the Browns defensive line get a whole lot nastier. QB is a need but Sashi Brown can look for that later in the round or in the second.
21. Mike McGlinchey OT, Notre Dame
Last season the Browns did little to replace Mitchell Schwartz and will need to address that in this year’s draft. He could start at right tackle and move over to left tackle when Joe Thomas calls it quits in a year or two. McGlinchey is thought to be a sure-fire franchise NFL tackle along with Alabama’s Cam Robinson in the 2017 draft. Robinson could also be the pick if he’s still there.
33. Sidney Jones CB, Washington
Jones has shows he has the ability to be a potential shut down corner in the NFL. He’s done it in the Pac-12 this year and is a big reason the Huskies are in the hunt for a spot in the College Football Playoff. By shoring up their defensive front with Ogbah and Garrett with the top pick this year adding a young stud corner could solidify the Browns’ defense and give them a leg up on the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens high octane offenses in years to come.
49. Brad Kaaya QB, Miami
With RG3’s history of injury and the Browns need for stability at the quarteback position Kaaya is a guy who will likely be there in the second round. Coming into the season he was thought to be a sure-fire first round pick but mobility concerns. He’s fared well against lesser competition but when the Hurricanes went up against good defenses like Florida State or North Carolina Kayaa struggled. I believe he will still be a second or third round pick and will improve his stock at the Combine next February.
All of this is just speculation and the official 2017 NFL Draft order won’t be set until January when the season ends. But with four picks in the first two rounds Cleveland is in the driver’s seat and could wheel and deal up and down the draft board with all the extra picks.