Are we sick of draft talk yet? Have we reached our breaking point? [
Didn't think so.
We've got five questions in this week's edition of the Browns Mailbag.
Since he played for Hue Jackson in the Senior Bowl, and he is such a great, humble tight end, I have a feeling the Browns will take O.J. Howard with the 12th pick. If he, or whoever else they have targeted, is not there at 12, would you have a problem with them trading down into the mid-20s to obtain an additional pick? -- Jim C., Wadsworth
There's been all sorts of pre-draft buzz about the possibilities of the Browns moving up in the draft because of their arsenal of assets but not as much about trading back -- something they did twice in the first round last year. The Browns haven't tipped their hand either way and won't. But it certainly would make some sense at No. 12 if the team thinks it can get a high-value player later in the round.
First things first with Howard. He's an elite tight end in a draft chock full of high-quality players at the position and has had a great couple of months on the pre-draft circuit. It's hard to find a draft analyst that doesn't have him as the No. 1 tight end and many believe he'll be either selected by the Browns at No. 12 or off the board by the time Cleveland picks. It'd be the earliest a tight end is selected in the draft since Eric Ebron went to the Lions with the No. 10 pick in 2014. Few, if any, view that kind of move as a reach.
Now about trading back from 12. The return on that sort of trade wouldn't be as high as the two Cleveland made in last year's draft -- going from No. 2 to No. 8 and then going from No. 8 to No. 15 -- but it could be beneficial if the team is confident it can get the player it wants at a spot later in the round. Some recent examples show what the Browns could expect to receive in a trade back from 12 that keeps them in the first round.
-- Last year, Chicago traded a fourth-round pick to move from No. 11 to No. 9.
-- In 2015, the Chargers gave up a fourth-round pick and a future fifth-rounder to move from No. 17 to No. 15.
-- In 2014, the Saints gave up their third-round pick to move from No. 27 to No. 20.
There is a WR out of FSU named Travis Rudolph. This young man seems to always be in the news for doing good things around the school and is a pretty good receiver. I was wondering if he would even be on the radar in the later rounds as a possible draft pick for the Browns! -- Chris H., Plant City, Florida
Rudolph made the right kind of headlines last August when he ate lunch with a boy who had autism and was sitting by himself. He followed with a solid junior season (840 yards, seven touchdowns) and declared for the draft shortly thereafter. He's projected as a Day 3 selection, and the Browns have plenty of picks they could use at the position on the final day of the draft.
Has there been any talk linking Joshua Dobbs to the Browns? I think we should use our early picks to build up the team, then take Dobbs in the later rounds. What do you think? -- Charles B, Gnadenhutten
Dobbs and the Browns worked closely together for a week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. One of the smartest guys in the entire draft -- he majored in aerospace engineering and held multiple, high-profile internships -- Dobbs carries a ton of experience in college football's toughest conference after four seasons at Tennessee. He's projected as a Day 3 pick and could certainly be an option if the Browns are looking to bolster the quarterback room on the final day.
"He completes the ball, he's more athletic, and he has a good arm," Jackson said in January of Dobbs, who passed for 7,128 yards, the fifth-most in Tennessee history.
Trading for Jamar Taylor turned into a gem for Cleveland. Can the Browns find another "gem" addition to their team this year? Tyvis Powell played well for the Seahawks but was waived because he was playing behind two stud safeties at Seattle. Cleveland picked him up off waivers. Can Tyvis Powell turn into a starter for the Browns? Week 1? -- Brent H., Van Wert, Ohio
Powell has a lot of upside and his energy and excitement about landing with his hometown Browns have been infectious. The safety position is wide open for the taking, but Powell will have to earn it. He could also have some more competition by the end of the draft.
What's taking them so long to sign Christian Kirksey? We need him. -- Byron B., Elyria
Kirksey is coming off a career season and has emerged as a leader on Cleveland's young defense. His performance and character are certainly valued in Berea, and he has one more season remaining on his rookie contract.
"I think Kirko is another one of our young, talented players that we want to have back," Jackson said at last month's owners meetings. "Hopefully we'll work through that process as well. But he's another one of those cornerstone players in my opinion. Hopefully we can get things done with him, too. He's talented. Did a great job last year. Looking for him to be even better this year."