New Browns General Manager Ray Farmer has been playing high-stakes poker since he took control of football operations in February, and no one knows exactly what he has planned for the NFL Draft, which will run tonight through Saturday.
With that in mind, I’ve put on a blindfold, thrown some darts and come up with the five bold predictions listed below.
1. The Browns won’t draft a quarterback fourth overall, but they also have the 26th overall pick, so they will take one later in the first round. Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo could be targets in that scenario. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles will be nabbed in the first half of the opening round.
2. If Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is available at No. 4, the Browns will pick him. If Watkins is gone, the Browns will trade down. Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson and Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack also could be possibilities, provided they’re available, but I think Watkins or a trade down would be the preference.
3. The Browns will trade at least once in the first round. Moving down from No. 4 and moving up from No. 26 to snag a quarterback would be the most logical strategies. How wild would it be if both happened?
4. If the Browns trade down from No. 4, they’ll stay in the top 10 and target Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans or Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert.
5. The Browns’ draft haul will include a quarterback, a wide receiver, a cornerback, an offensive tackle or guard, an inside linebacker, a running back and a defensive lineman. The quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback and O-lineman will be picked in the first three rounds.