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Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: Who’d be worth a trade back into the 1st round?

We’ve got dates next to the games, and the draft’s just six days away.

What better time than now for four of your questions?

What do you think about taking Sony Michel and Carlton Davis with two of the second-round picks? -- Bradley M., Shadyside

There’s been a lot of buzz around Michel over the past few months, and his performance on college football’s biggest stage certainly makes some wonder if he could be one of the best at the position in this year’s class. Had Georgia won it all, he’d have had a case for MVP, as he ran for a combined 279 yards and three touchdowns against two of the best teams in the country. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects Michel as a future NFL starter, and that’d be a great thing to snag in the second round, whether it be at 33, 35 or 64. There’s a lot of competition at running back, though, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see another running back catch the Browns’ fancy if they opt to take a player at the position at that part in the draft.

As for Davis, he’s a tough player to pin down. AL.com did a great job of detailing this split opinion earlier this week. Some analysts believe he’s worthy of a first-round grade. Others project him to be a late Day 2 or even an early Day 3 selection. The former Auburn defensive back intrigues team with his “length,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. says, but didn’t shine at the Combine. It’s a crowded group of cornerbacks in this year’s draft class, especially near the end of the first round and early in the second round. Davis could very well slip through the cracks and give the Browns a great player late in the second round.

Let's say the Browns decide to trade out of the fourth pick, or trade back into the first round. What players are on the radar in the mid- to late first round? -- Brooks P., Cincinnati

This is a question with endless answers, but I’ll instead identify a handful of players at positions of need that could be of interest to the Browns in the bottom half of the first round.

WR - Christian Kirk (Texas A&M), Courtland Sutton (SMU), D.J. Moore (Maryland)

Both of these players have been consistently pegged in the bottom half of the first round or early second round. General manager John Dorsey indicated Friday the Browns could add a couple of players at the position in this year’s draft.

Pass rusher - Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio), Harold Landry (Boston College)

The Browns got a close look at Davenport at this year’s Senior Bowl. Both players have speed and athleticism that make them valuable at one of the most important positions on the field.

Offensive tackle - Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame), Connor Williams (Texas), Kolton Miller (UCLA)

There likely isn’t a top-10 tackle in this year’s draft, but a handful could hear their name called in the bottom half of the first round. If Cleveland views one as a potential heir apparent to Joe Thomas, it might be worth the move.

Cornerback - Josh Jackson (Iowa), Jaire Alexander (Louisville), Mike Hughes (UCF)

Yes, one of these players could be available at No. 33, but the Browns could secure who they believe to be the best by trading up.

If you have two picks in the first round, I think they should be starters and on the field. It doesn't make sense to put the No. 1 draft pick on the bench. You need wins. -- Ricky P., Dayton

This argument makes sense to a degree, but I think it goes out the window when it comes to the quarterback position, especially when you’re considering players who have maybe started just a couple of seasons at the college level. Some teams simply can’t make the moves the Browns have made over the past month to establish a quarterback room that doesn’t need its quarterback of the future to step onto the field right away. Cleveland, though, has secured that with the acquisition of Tyrod Taylor and signing of veteran Drew Stanton. If the Browns opt for a quarterback at the top spot in the draft -- the only possible way to guarantee getting the quarterback the team views as the best at the position -- they’re in a position to replicate what the Bengals achieved with Carson Palmer in 2003. The former USC star didn’t see the field at all during his rookie season with veteran Jon Kitna holding down the fort. He took over as starter the following year.

How much can you read into the Browns not having private workouts with Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, and Minkah Fitzpatrick? -- Jarrod F., Erie, Pennsylvania

Dorsey tackled this exact question at Thursday’s press conference, and it makes a lot of sense for players viewed as “clean” as these three when it comes to off-the-field and injury history.

“A man once told me, don’t show all of your cards at once,” Dorsey said. “They are great kids. All three of them are awesome kids. What more do you need to know about them? I have talked to each one of them on the side at the combine. I know what they are as people. Why waste a 30-player visit? If there are guys you have questions about, why not bring those guys in here?”

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