The Browns netted the 26th overall pick in May’s draft by trading running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in September.
The Colts were eliminated from the postseason late Saturday night via a 43-22 loss to the New England Patriots. The Colts were slotted for pick No. 26 when the Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers 24-17 tonight. The Chargers have the 25th overall pick. The draft order isn’t set for playoff teams until they’re eliminated.
So the Browns have two first-round picks – their own selection (fourth overall) and the Colts’ pick (26th overall). On Sept. 18, they traded Richardson, an underachiever thus far who was picked third overall in 2012, to the Colts in exchange for their 2014 first-round choice.
It seems premature to predict which prospect the Browns will target with their top pick because the team is still searching for a head coach after firing Rob Chudzinski Dec. 29. However, it’s a safe bet it’ll be a quarterback, and several national writers have linked Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel to the Browns because the front office supposedly loves him. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Saturday that the Browns are “very high” on Manziel. Draft analysts widely consider Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles the other top-rated quarterbacks in this year’s class.
The first three picks belong to the Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively.
If the Browns think Manziel – or whomever they ultimately target – will be picked before they’re put on the clock at No. 4, they certainly have enough ammunition to trade up. The Browns own 10 picks, including seven in the first four rounds.
The draft will run May 8-10.