Despite what you might have read elsewhere, the Cleveland Browns have by no means locked their quarterback plans in stone — especially as it relates to the NFL draft. There had been chatter that the Browns and GM John Dorsey were starting to zero in on a two-tiered plan knowing the veteran route and draft route they were headed now that the Senior Bowl is in the rearview mirror.
“Laughable,” is how one team source described that when we asked how far along they were in terms of strategizing.
“No, not even close,” the source said. “Sure, there are plenty of names being thrown around. We have some we like more than others, of course. But does anyone honestly think [Dorsey] is going to make a final call without talking to Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold or any other (quarterback at the Senior Bowl)? Pretty absurd.”
The Browns got an up-close look at both Josh Allen of Wyoming and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma in Mobile, Ala. and have done a lot of work on both. Our source wasn’t breaking on which might have been Dorsey’s favorite, but our own guess is that Mayfield is the kind of swashbuckling, gun-slinging prospect whom Dorsey has been chasing since he scouted Brett Favre.
It’s no guarantee that the Browns will end up with Mayfield, but they of course have the easiest time drafting whomever they want. Cleveland owns the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks and have as much draft ammo after that as any other team.
The Browns, we hear, even might be open to landing a veteran quarterback via trade or free agency, taking a non-QB at No. 1 overall and then coming back at 4 (or even sliding up a spot or two, if needed) to land the rookie quarterback of their choosing. Everything we’ve heard to this point is that the Browns will almost certainly acquire both a veteran who is capable of starting Day 1 and also a rookie high in the draft who can take over in time.
That’s the one plan that seems to be in place now, even if we don’t know which quarterbacks they favor at this time. Alex Smith was an obvious trade target before he landed in Washington, but we hear they will explore other options there as well among the veterans.