The Cleveland Browns have two first-round picks, and have their sights set on two targets with the hopes they could team up and change the franchise’s future.
Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is the NFL Draft’s top prospect and a sure-fire lock to go first overall, but that doesn’t address the Browns’ long-time need at quarterback. However, it’s possible that the Chicago Bears could help facilitate a move that lands Cleveland its quarterback … and helps Chicago acquire the oh-so-valuable draft picks the team covets in a deep draft.
In a conference call with ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters, Mel Kiper Jr. sees the Browns drafting Garrett first overall, but also needing to move up from pick 12 if the team wants to secure Mitchell Trubisky as the team’s franchise quarterback of the future. This is where the Bears come into play.
“If the Bears want to move out of three I think that could be a spot for Cleveland to jump up and take Trubisky,” Kiper said in the conference call.
Kiper would go on to add, “I think the only player you move up to get is if you believe Trubisky is the No. 1 quarterback in this draft and his grade on your board is high enough then he is the only player that would be worth jumping up from No. 12 to No. 3 to try [to] get.”
The Bears are reportedly antsy about trading out of the No. 3 pick, so this might be a move they would welcome with open arms. Cleveland has positioned itself well with two second-round picks in 2017 (No. 33, No.52) and three more in 2018 (theirs, plus picks acquired from the Eagles in 2016 and Texans in the Brock Osweiler deal). If the Browns were truly pursuing a deal to grab Trubisky, the Bears seem in line to make a deal — though, it would likely have to wait until draft night for at least a couple reasons
For example, Chicago could use this as leverage in a potential deal with the New York Jets, who own the sixth pick. Not only could the Jets could be a team in play for Trubisky, they could be the only team standing in the way of the Browns landing him with the 12th pick. General manager Ryan Pace could pit the Jets and Browns against each other until one team made the Bears an offer they couldn’t refuse.
… the flip side, of course, is that the San Francisco 49ers, with the second overall pick, are also reportedly interested in trading down, which means they could threaten the Browns that they will take Trubisky at two if the Browns trade up to three.
Moreover, recent rumblings suggest Pace and the Bears could actually be in the market to take a quarterback with the third pick. Their primary target could be Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, whom they scouted heavily at his pro day. Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes could be on the team’s radar, too. In fact, after considering how much time the Bears have spent on DeShone Kizer, the only top four quarterback in the draft in whom the Bears haven’t shown a great deal of public interest … is Trubisky. Playing it nice and quiet, perhaps?
The NFL Draft is nine days away and business looks like its about to pick up.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.
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