By Michael Stewart
Introduction: It’s not often that one team could cause a rippling effect with a draft pick in the NFL draft. However; that could happen when the Cleveland Browns are on the clock to open the 2018 NFL draft. Many believe that they will draft a Quarterback with the 1st overall pick, while others believe running back Saquon Barkley is on their wish list; or possibly trading this pick to the highest bidder as well. The decision the Brown’s make could affect what whether the Giants or other teams looking to trade down do with their pick/picks. Below I will have a few possible scenarios of what could happen based on what the Browns do with their 1st overall pick:
Scenario 1- Brown’s trade 1st overall pick: The Browns have traded away a top pick before, more recently in the 2016 draft when they traded away their 2nd overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles; which ended up being Carson Wentz. With my 1st scenario, I have history repeating itself and the Browns get an offer they can’t refused and trading the 1st overall pick to possibly the Denver Broncos (11 picks) Miami Dolphins (9 picks), the Cincinnati Bengals (12 picks) or perhaps the Arizona Cardinals (7 picks) and the Buffalo Bills (10 picks) making a bold move for that elusive 1st overall pick. All five teams have been rumored of looking for the future quarterback for their respective franchises. If this was to happen and plays out this way, look for the Giants to turn in their draft card in record time and select running back Saquon Barkley. Despite arguably the deepest running back depth in terms of talent in this draft; it would be very hard for the Giants to pass on Barkley.
Scenario 2:-Brown’s Select a Quarterback: If GM John Dorsey and the Browns do stand pat at 1 and draft a quarterback (Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold or Mayfield); which could happen after the trade between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Jets where the Jets leaped frog from 6 to 3 and surrendered their 6th overall pick, two 2nd round picks (37 & 49) and a 2019 2nd round pick. Once again, the Giants will or should turn their draft card in and select running back Saquon Barkley’s. The selection of a quarterback with the first pick by the Browns could intensify the above teams mentioned to trade down.
Scenario 3-Brown’s select Running Back Saquon Barkley: This move will cause a shock wave in the NFL draft in my opinion. I believe if the Brown’s select Barkley 1st overall, the Giants should definitely entertain offers to the highest bidder for their 2nd overall pick. There are many value charts on many websites that equates each teams draft picks in terms of points. The two most popular value charts are by www.Draftteks.com and www.patspulpit.com created by Rich Hill. The Broncos, Dolphins, Bengals, Cardinals and Bills would all need to overpay to get that elusive 2nd overall pick thanks to the Jets trade with the Colt. Not sure if any of these teams would be willing to pay a king’s ransom for the 2nd overall pick, but that’s what the Giants should be demanding.
Final Thoughts: Other scenarios are possible, but I believe the three I’ve listed are the top 3 that could come into play. At this point, it’s unclear what GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants will do with the 2nd overall pick as the rumor train has provided many possibilities. Personally, for me it all depends on what the Browns do at #1. If Barkley is available I would select him in a New York minute, however; if the Browns draft Barkley at #1, then I would consider trading back only if I can find a team willing to over pay for that pick; and I believe the Giants will have that type of offer on the table.