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Within the first week of the Cleveland Browns offseason, the front office has drastically changed with two huge additions that helped build the great Green Bay Packers teams of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. With these wholesale changes, what does the upcoming offseason present? Let’s take a look at the “Dawg Pound’s” questions.
If the browns land a veteran qb in the off season, do we still draft a quarterback high in the draft or do we find a mid round guy? Someone like Mason Rudolph? – Trever, Mansfield, OH
Hey there, Trever. It ultimately depends on the veteran quaterback in my mind. With the recent rumors that Washington’s Kirk Cousins would seriously consider a Browns contract offer, I see them potentially grabbing a quaterback later in the draft, like Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph or even Virginia’s Kurt Benkert. However, should they grab say Minnesota’s Case Keenum or Sam Bradford, or Kansas City’s Alex Smith, which is believed to be the most likely move, I’d think that the idea of drafting a first round talent such as Josh Allen or Sam Darnold would be on the table.
Will Hue Jackson have any say on any coaching changes? (OC, is what I’m thinking) – Joe, Parts Unknown, US
Hi Joe, I’ve got a weird feeling that with the new front office taking over, Jimmy Haslam would allow John Dorsey to have more power in choosing the offensive coordinator. Hue Jackson will definitely have a say but there’s a knot in my gut saying that whoever is brought in could be viewed as a potential replacement if Jackson was to be fired. With some experts comparing one of the Browns top choices, Texans’ quarterback coach Sean Ryan, to Los Angeles Rams’ coach Sean McVay, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s at least considered.
With having 12 draft picks and 5 in the first 2 rounds, do we draft by need or best available? – Jeff, Tiffin, OH
Hola, Jeff. Looking at John Dorsey’s picks in the past, he usually has taken based on best available, unless there was a crucial need, such as quarterback (as seen with Patrick Mahomes last year). Considering that the Browns have shown to have quite a few needs on the offensive side of the ball as well as in the secondary, look for more of a best player available draft. However, one of the picks in the first round will more than likely be a quarterback.
Will Crow get his contract or do we try and steal Bell from the Steelers? Is there a FA RB even out there past Bell? – Shane, Sandusky, OH
Shane, hate to say it, but get it out of your head. I don’t see Le’Veon Bell coming to the Browns. While anything can happen in free agency, Bell is more than likely going back to the Steelers. As for other running backs in free agency, of course Isaiah Crowell comes to mind, but Seattle’s Eddie Lacy, Denver’s Jamaal Charles, New England’s Dion Lewis and San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde will be out there. Cleveland’s best bet would be to draft a rookie, with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, being among the big names to watch for. Of course, come season’s end that could change with releases and cuts.
How short is Hue’s leash in 2018? – Cliff, Parts Unknown, US
Hi Cliff, let’s just say that the leash is so short, that if the Browns aren’t above .500 between weeks 4 and 7, he could be canned. As I explained in the offensive coordinator question, don’t be surprised if the new Browns’ offensive coordinator is viewed more as a potential replacement for Jackson.
Do we draft Barkley at 1 or a QB? – Kevin, Parts Unknown, US
Well it depends on two things: first there’s the question of which veteran quarterback is signed. If it’s Cousins, then expect Barkley to be number one but if they trade for Alex Smith, then expect the pick to be a quarterback. The other variable is the NFL combine/pro days. If there’s a quaterback that absolutely shines and makes Dorsey say, “this guy is our future,” you can expect that to be our first overall. At this point in time, most signs point to a quarterback, so I’d put it at 70% quarterback – 30% Barkley.
Did the Browns finally figure out how to use Peppers like they did against the Steelers? – Joe, Washington, OH
Hey Joe, after watching his play this season, I think it’s safe to say that the Browns figured out how to use safety Jabrill Peppers. He was not built and trained to play free safety, plain and simple. Against Pittsburgh, they played Peppers at strong safety, a position that he’s more suited toward. I expect Kai Nacua to compete for the free safety spot, as well as either seeing Cleveland draft someone or sign someone like Los Angeles’ LaMarcus Joyner.