With the loss to the Pittsburgh B-team on Sunday, the Browns secured the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Browns will have the first pick, followed by the 49ers, Bears, Jaguars and Titans closing out the top five.
.@Browns with 2 picks in the top 10 of the draft?
A first since 2000.
— NFL (@NFL) December 30, 2016
The Browns also have the 12th pick in the first round, courtesy of the Eagles from last year’s pick swap that would ultimately end up giving the Eagles Carson Wentz (I’ll leave it to you to decide who got the better in that trade). This 12th pick does give the Browns a little more flexibility if they decide to trade away that number one pick for more picks later in the draft, a strategy they might utilize because there’s not that big name quarterback going in the top 10 this year.
QB Rankings: Who’s at the top as the season draws to a close?
Hall of Fame:: Gridiron Glory Exhibit hits paydirt
Winners and Losers:: Who came out on top to open up 2017?
The trendy name being floated around is Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett, and there’s no doubt that the Browns could certainly use someone of his caliber if he can adjust well to playing at the pro level. That being said, having the 12th pick gives the Browns some more wiggle room, because they can trade away that one pick and forfeit the chance to pick up Garrett to possibly take some chances on more players. The logic there being that the Browns have so many holes all over the roster that maybe two or three younger players later in the draft may be worth having to pass on Myles Garrett.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 2, 2017
The biggest hole in this Browns roster is obviously the quarterback, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that another year of watching RG III will probably lead me to stick rusty nails in both my eyes just to ease the pain. That being said, there’s not a whole lot of pro caliber quarterbacks in this draft that one can point to and say ‘that’s the guy I want leading my franchise for the next 10-15 years’. With Baker Mayfield staying for another year, DeShaun Watson is generally perceived to be the top quarterback in this draft class.
There’s also Tyrod Taylor, Tony Romo (though Romo is unlikely to come to Cleveland) and possibly Jimmy Garoppolo as the big names being floated around in the free agency/trade market.
The Browns have a lot of options coming into the 2017 season, but they also have a lot of holes to fill on their roster. This is a draft the Browns have to get right.