Saquon Barkley had a phenomenal performance at this year’s scouting combine, solidifying his position as the best player in the 2018 NFL Draft. Now, it appears the Cleveland Browns are firmly considering taking the Penn State running back with the first pick in the draft. If that happens, Cleveland could miss out on landing its franchise quarterback.
The New York Giants hold the second pick and they need a succession plan at quarterback. The Indianapolis Colts are at No. 3 and obviously don’t need a signal-caller with Andrew Luck hopefully back from injury. That said, the Colts have so many holes that a trade down to a quarterback-needy team would make a ton of sense. If Rosen and Darnold go off the board at No. 2 and No. 3, that would leave the Browns without a great option at quarterback at No. 4. And no, I don’t consider Allen a great option.
If the Browns are serious about getting a franchise quarterback, they may have to do it at No. 1. But both the Giants and Colts could take Barkley at two or three.
So what should the Browns do? Barkley is the best player in this year’s draft and could have a similar impact as Ezekiel Elliott or Todd Gurley. That’s a franchise-changing talent. But Cleveland also needs a quarterback. It’s a confusing dilemma for a franchise that always seems to screw up in big moments.
If the Browns truly believe in one of this year’s quarterbacks, they need to take him with the first pick. Barkley is fantastic, but the NFL is still a quarterback-driven league. That has to be where everything starts for Cleveland.
Basically the Browns need to take a quarterback at No. 1 and Barkley somehow drops to No. 4.