The Browns have been busy, really busy, since the start of the new league year.
Friday’s signing of former Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines marked the 11th addition to the roster in less than two weeks. On Sunday, veteran quarterback Drew Stanton agreed to terms on a deal with the Browns, setting him up to be the 12th.
Simply put, it’s a lot of new faces. And the moves were made with a purpose, as general manager John Dorsey explained Monday at the league’s annual meeting in Orlando.
“You never want to go into a draft hamstrung and say you have to force the issue,” Dorsey said. “By doing it this way, you don't force your position in the draft. You have options and flexibility.”
Did the Browns’ plethora of acquisitions affect how the mock drafters think they’ll act with the first and fourth picks? We’re digging into that in this week’s roundup of the latest predictions.
- QB Sam Darnold (USC)
- DL Bradley Chubb (N.C. State)
Of note: Zierlein expects the Browns to field plenty of trade offers for the No. 4 pick from quarterback-hungry teams. Instead, he believes they’ll stay put to add another “blue chip” player to the roster.
- RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
Of note: In this scenario, Darnold would be the third quarterback off the board behind UCLA’s Josh Rosen (No. 2, Giants) and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (No. 3, Jets).
Of note: Miller believes the Giants will pounce on Chubb with the No. 2 pick, leaving the Browns with a QB-RB tandem that is “too good to be true.”
Of note: Fornelli believes the Browns could have risked waiting to take a quarterback with the No. 4 pick before the Colts traded spots with the Jets. That option, he writes, is no longer on the table.
Of note: Breer believes the Browns will be able to lure the Broncos into trading up one spot so they can nab a quarterback. Cleveland still gets the player it would have taken at No. 4.
- OT Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame)
Of note: In this scenario, Ledyard projects the Browns to trade the No. 4 pick to Buffalo, which would select Rosen. The Browns would likely receive “a lot” of assets in return while also landing their replacement for Joe Thomas.
Of note: Brinson lays out nearly the exact same scenario as Ledyard but swaps the Bills for the Dolphins, who hold the 11th pick. Miami takes Mayfield in this scenario.
- DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
Of note: Iyer believes the Browns will select Fitzpatrick over Barkley in this scenario, in part, because Cleveland is already in good shape in the backfield with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr.