Former Cleveland Browns GM, and current ESPN analyst Phil Savage laid out some options for the possible Browns’ trade of Joe Thomas before the 2016 NFL Draft.
Joe Thomas almost got traded before last season’s deadline. Then GM Ray Farmer quibbled over some mid-round draft picks with the Denver Broncos, and Thomas ended up staying a Brown.
Farmer is now gone, for a laundry list of reasons, but talk of Thomas, the Browns first-round pick in 2007, being dealt away is still alive and well.
The man who drafted Thomas–current ESPN analyst Phil Savage–addressed one big scenario facing the Browns on draft day.
In his scenario, the Browns would take Laremy Tunsil at No. 2, and then trade Thomas to jump back into the first or second round. He listed the Seahawks, Panthers and Titans as potential trade partners.
After their blockbuster trade own with the Rams, Tennessee now owns the No 15 pick in the first round, while Seattle (26th) and Carolina (30th) are positioned at the bottom of the first round.
Thomas is on the fast track to the Hall of Fame, and the Browns better command a first-rounder if they’re going to move him. It makes sense that the Seahawks and Panthers might be potential suitors because their poised to contend for the Super Bowl.
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Tennessee isn’t expected to make it that far, but they still have the problem of figuring out who’s going to protect their franchise quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
If the Browns do what Savage has laid out as option, the move would equal a disaster for the Harvard Browns. They’d have traded a fan favorite for an offensive tackle with injury history, while bypassing one of the top top quarterbacks available–thus bypassing any hope for the future.
Alas, you can’t please everyone, and the thing about this front office, is that they’ve done an excellent job of keeping the masses guessing. No one knows what they’re going to do, but you can count on hearing every rumor you can think of leading up to the draft, April 30.
All we have to work with is the little we know about the men calling the shots in Berea. Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta. Analytics is their way. That suggests something like Savage suggested may come to fruition. Thomas is still in his prime, but he’s on the wrong side of 30. The numbers say move him and accumulate more picks.
Additionally, perhaps we refuse to see the forest for the trees because we’re believing the Browns at their word. They say they’re still open to a quarterback at two. But, take their moves for what they are. They signed Robert Griffin to quarterback this team. Hue Jackson thinks he can raise RG3 from the dead. The Browns are supposed to be collaborative in their decision making, but Jackson has to be arrogant enough to believe he can win with Griffin.
Lots of questions until draft day. Until then, the Browns will keep us all guessing.