The Cleveland Browns will look to avenge their winless 2017 season by rebuilding their roster through the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns have done the most wheeling and dealing of any team in the NFL to start the offseason, and head into the 2018 Draft with a chance to reverse their losing fortunes both next season and beyond.
With two selections in the top five, the Browns and GM John Dorsey have the draft capital to make any prospect their own and here’s a look at how the team could choose to address their many needs heading into the 2018 season.
The acquisition of Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills means that the Browns can opt to let the quarterback they select in the 2018 Draft develop at a reasonable pace. With the amount of jockeying going on after this pick, however, there’s a chance that they won’t be able to pass on a quarterback at one and still get “their guy” at four.
Mayfield has spent quite a bit of time with Cleveland during the draft process and he’s long been rumored to be a favorite of new Browns draft consultant Scot McClougan. Giving him a year to develop in Hue Jackson’s system would help to make sure he’s ready to take the reins for good beginning in 2019.
Taylor’s measurables and skill set could also be an indication that they’re leaning in the direction of Mayfield over names like Darnold, Rosen and Allen. Mayfield also has the leadership qualities that could help to reverse the revolving door trend of quarterbacks in Cleveland.
DE, NC State
With the team now set at quarterback (what a weird sentence to type when referencing the Cleveland Browns), they can take a Best Player Available approach with the fourth overall selection. If superstar running back Saqon Barkley goes ahead of this pick, I’d expect Cleveland to take NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb.
Chubb has long been one of my favorite players in this class and would form a formidable one-two pass rushing punch alongside last year’s top overall pick, Myles Garrett. Chubb racked up 20+ tackles for loss and 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons for the Wolfpack. His production and off-the-charts production would make him a great fit in a rapidly-improving Browns defense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars showed last season just how valuable an improved defense, particularly on the line, can help a team achieve rapid success and it’s a formula that Cleveland could very well look to replicate in 2018.