Cleveland Browns: Bold Predictions Regarding The 2017 NFL Draft

Aug 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, right, talks with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown during pre-game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, right, talks with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown during pre-game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2017 NFL Draft is nearly here as a special edition of Factory of Sadness’ round table question focused on Cleveland Browns’ bold draft predictions.

So, with two top-15 picks,the Cleveland Browns could go a number of ways. History has shown that we can just assume the current regime will draft a certain position early just because. With that in mind, members of the FoS team gave their bold predictions for later this week.

Dylan Haines

This may not be a bold prediction, but I believe the Browns will make a move to secure their quarterback of the future. With the first pick, the Browns will select…Texas A&M EDGE Myles Garrett, a surprise to no one.

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However, Cleveland will need to move up a few spots from 12 if they want to make sure they are able to take the first quarterback off the board. My guess is that the Browns would want to jump ahead of the New York Jets at six.

That said, no team currently in the top 11 will want to take a quarterback with their top picks. So, the reason the Browns would jump ahead would be to make sure no other team behind them trades in front of them to take a QB.

In my estimation, the Browns most highly covet North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky and will trade up to secure him as the next “quarterback of the future” in Cleveland.

Ric McElroy

I have a strange feeling that the Browns won’t draft a quarterback until the third round or beyond. They have improved their offensive line in free agency. Therefore, a weak defense with a new defensive coordinator at the helm will influence what they do!

Let’s face the facts. The defensive side of the ball is well represented in the draft. Even if Cleveland drafts Garrett with the first pick, there are plenty of other holes to fill on the defense.

They still need to stop the run and they haven’t addressed the porous defensive backfield yet.

Also, the quarterbacks in this draft aren’t the second coming of either Manning, New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers or even Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck! There are questions about all of them. So, build the defense with the impressive amount of talent in this draft. If a quarterback falls in their lap then take him, but just not in the first round.

Nick Dudukovich

If free agency taught us anything, it’s that the Browns are capable of the unexpected with Paul DePodesta a year into his job as the Browns’ Chief Strategy Officer. The rumor mill is producing talk about voices in the Browns’ headquarters advocating for Mitchell Trubisky, and that voice may that of owner Jimmy Haslam.

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With that said, I predict Haslam let’s his people do their job, and if we’ve learned anything about this front office, it’s that they’re willing to be bold. Who among us wouldn’t be shocked if the Browns traded out of the first pick one to get “more picks”?

Bill Barnwell wrote about this for ESPN, just a couple of weeks ago. If analytical approach of this front office has taught us anything, it’s that maximizing picks is the top priority.

The Browns will trade down from one and recoup more draft picks for the future, somewhere in the top seven. When the Browns finally do make their first pick, they’ll take Ohio State safety to help solve their questionable secondary.

Why Hooker over LSU’s Jamal Adams? If you’re going to take a safety, take someone who can make a difference. What’s the biggest difference a safety can make? Getting the dang ball! You remember this of course, because former NFL player Ed Reed used to do it all of the time.

At No. 12, the Browns stand pat and select Trubisky, who won’t be the first quarterback drafted. That honor will go to Clemson Tigers’ national champion signal-caller Deshaun Watson, who will either go to the Chicago Bears or the New York Jets.

At No. 33, Cleveland’s PR squad gets to work spinning the selection of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon. Isaiah Crowell has yet to sign his second-round contract tender. He was a nice find by former GM Ray Farmer as an undrafted free agent, but I’m not sure what Crowell’s play is by not signing his tender.

Trading down from one, taking Hooker, Trubisky and Mixon. I don’t think I can get any more bolder. The Browns trade down from their first overall slot, but not every far.

Ryan Rosko

If (when) Cleveland trades up, exactly at what point during the draft will that happen? The easy bet is that the Browns will trade up into the top seven or so and draft a quarterback. Such a scenario is very possible, but what if their ideal quarterback can be found at 33 or via another trade late in the first round?

I bring that up because here’s a twist that has not been mentioned as much. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer drops to 33 as he goes to Cleveland. Prior to that though, the Browns trade up from 12 and into the Jets’ spot at sixth overall. Do they go with Trubisky or Watson?

No, because one or both are gone and both are more than likely not Cleveland’s preferences at quarterback. So, they go and add to their offensive talent with the selection of Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

Yes, the Browns have Isaiah Crowell, but for how long? Besides, teams need two running backs nowadays. Fellow running back Duke Johnson is still on the roster and he is decent, but that’s about it.

Next: No Firings, No Manziel?

McCaffrey is a Swiss army knife that will make an impact in games in so many ways. Cleveland has surprised us with some of their choices during the draft last offseason and their current regime will do the same again.