When the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night, the Browns won't select a player in the first round for the first time since 2008.

Unless, of course, they trade back into the opening round.

A bold move cannot be dismissed as a realistic possibility because wheeling and dealing is part of the John Dorsey experience.

Consider this stunning fact: In Dorsey's 16 months as the general manager of the Browns, he has completed 17 trades. The word completed is important because Dorsey actually agreed to two more trades, raising the total number to 19, but those deals involving tight end Randall Telfer and cornerback C.J. Smith were nullified due to failed physicals.

If Dorsey trades up, it could be to address the team's biggest need — linebacker — or the only position (specialists excluded) he hasn't bolstered this offseason — cornerback.

But it also could be for a top-five talent who slides down the board because of unusual circumstances, and that's partly why Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons has Dorsey written all over him. Simmons repeatedly punching a woman three years ago and suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in February will cause him to fall, and Dorsey absolutely loves bargain-hunting for elite talent.

Some people would be surprised if Dorsey were to move up into the first round, but they shouldn't be stunned by anything he's able to pull off, especially after he traded the 17th overall pick, a third-round choice (No. 95) and strong safety Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants last month for superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

A trade from No. 49 to earlier in the second round Friday night is probably more likely than a big leap into the first round, but you never know with buddy boy calling the shots.

Potential sweetener

What would it cost the Browns to join the opening round?

Trade value charts suggest the Browns could package No. 49, a second-round pick next year and perhaps a player like running back Duke Johnson for a late first-round choice.

Johnson remains on the trade block despite Dorsey insisting last week he views the player as "member of this organization moving forward," a league source told the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com. The source added that Johnson is the only player the Browns had on the block as of late Tuesday night.

That doesn't mean another Browns player won't be traded. TheMMQB.com's Albert Breer reported other teams have asked the Browns about middle linebacker Joe Schobert's availability, even though he's not being actively shopped.

Johnson has yet to join the Browns for their voluntary offseason workout program, which began April 1, and his agent asked the front office to trade him a while ago.

Not present

The absences of Beckham and Johnson from this week's voluntary veteran minicamp are notable for different reasons. Beckham is new to the team, and Johnson's camp has requested his exit.

Beckham tweeted Wednesday he's training on his own, which is what he has often done in previous offseasons.

But Beckham and Johnson aren't the only big-name players missing the first minicamp under coach Freddie Kitchens.

Receiver Jarvis Landry isn't there. He has an infant at home.

Dorsey made his stance on this topic known last week when he was asked about Beckham's participation in the voluntary program.

"Anytime, as an organization, you have a first-year coaching staff and you're installing new offenses and new defenses, it's good to be here, but let's remember the CBA created this where it's a voluntary situation," Dorsey said. "I think he's an experienced enough player that he'll understand what he has to do to put himself in the best position and put this team in the best position."

Running back Kareem Hunt, defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson headline the list of newcomers who are practicing with the Browns for the first time this week.

The minicamp began Tuesday and will end Thursday. Reporters were not permitted to attend.

Visitors in Berea

Simmons is the highest-profile prospect known to have taken a pre-draft visit to Berea, but there are plenty of other names that have surfaced.

Here are the pre-draft visitors reported by the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com and other media outlets:

Defensive tackles — Simmons, Trysten Hill (Central Florida)

Cornerbacks — Stephen Denmark (Valdosta State), Ka'dar Hollman (Toledo), Donnie Lewis Jr. (Tulane), Jimmy Moreland (James Madison), Iman Marshall (Southern California)

Receivers — Marcus Green (Louisiana Monroe), Penny Hart (Georgia State), Jon'vea Johnson (Toledo)

Safeties — JT Hassell (Florida Tech), Juan Thornhill (Virginia)

Running back — Devine Ozigbo (Nebraska)

Punter — Jamie Gillan (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

Perhaps the Browns could still get a well-known defensive tackle even if Simmons isn't in the cards. Hill and Ohio State's Dre'Mont Jones, a Cleveland native who worked out for the team during its local pro day in Berea, might be available at No. 49.

Of the nine players Dorsey picked last year, at least five of them visited Berea in the buildup to the draft: quarterback Baker Mayfield (No. 1 overall), cornerback Denzel Ward (No. 4), receivers Antonio Callaway (fourth round, No. 105) and Damion Ratley (sixth round, No. 175) and cornerback Simeon Thomas (sixth round, No. 188).

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.