The Cleveland Browns are selecting eighth overall now, so who could be their likely targeted players?
Having made the second trade involving a top three pick over the last two weeks, the hope for a quarterback going to the Cleveland Browns is now less likely in the first round. Despite plenty of options, there was no consensus for a player at the top.
Cleveland’s trade gave them multiple draft picks, but it also did not alleviate the possibilities. After just completing one deal, it appears the Browns are trying to trade down again, which leads them valuing quantity over quality. That approach is something I cannot fully support.
Suppose no other round one trade is made by the Cleveland Browns. What do they do at eight? Their needs are all over, and it is a good chance that Cleveland will be drafting very high again next year (possibly for a quarterback). For now as long as they fill a need at eight, that is all that should matter.
Players who are likely to be of interest at eight on offense are Notre Dame offensive tackle (who can play inside too) Ronnie Stanley, Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, and Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. Both tackles can immediately replace the issues at right tackle, Elliott is the best back in the draft, and who says it is too early to draft Lynch at eight?
First, Ohio State players do not often get drafted by the Cleveland Browns. All though it would be nice to see it happen more, I would not bet on that happening this year. If Cleveland bypasses Lynch, there is no guarantee a QB they like will be there at 32.
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Even though the offense is in a real need for help as its talent level is low, defense cannot be ignored, and that is why going that route in the first round could be the plan. In the second round, Cleveland can then start stocking the cupboards on the offensive side.
As we have seen, the Cleveland Browns are not afraid of trading, especially during the draft. Say Cleveland moves down somewhere again, perhaps to 15, currently held by the Tennessee Titans. Where do they go then? Assuming no other trades are made, a couple of previously mentioned players could still be around. Those players are Conklin, Lynch, and Elliott. But who else?
This is where the wide receivers could come into play. Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell and TCU’s Josh Doctson leads the group and both would be a great resource for the Cleveland Browns offense. Other players who would be a fit are Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson, and Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd.
The fun surrounding the Cleveland Browns draft has already started! What could be next? Whatever it is, Browns fans have seen it all, but hopefully it will be positive for years to come.
If anyone of those previously mentioned players actually goes to Cleveland and plays well, then perhaps the front office deserves more credit. Until then, we will have to wait and see.