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Mailbag: Odds Browns trade Nos. 1 or 4? Who should be the pick at No. 1? Trading for Tyrod Taylor?

Q: Browns GM John Dorsey announced he is willing to listen to trade offers for the 1st and 4th overall picks. What are the odds that either pick, or both picks, gets traded?

— Justin Nalley

A: First of all, just about every general manager says the same thing, so we shouldn’t read too much into it. But I do believe Dorsey will listen to any offer in case it’s too good to pass up. Having said that, I would say the odds of trading the No. 1 pick are long. Let’s put them at 30-to-1 (I’d bet my $1 to your $30 they keep the pick and use it).

I think No. 4 is a completely different story. It’s in play, especially if the Giants and Colts at Nos. 1 and 2 pass on quarterbacks. If only one quarterback is gone when the Browns are on the clock with the fourth pick, I would expect a few teams to be interested in moving up. If the Browns can pick up a first-round pick in 2019 by moving down only a handful of spots, it would be tempting. Of course, Dorsey has to weigh the extra pick vs. bypassing the best player left on his board, which could be Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.


I’ll put the odds of trading No. 4 at 10-to-1, bringing the odds of trading either pick to about 8-to-1. Trading both picks feels like 100-to-1.

Q: Who do you think the Cleveland Browns should take with their first pick?

The popular choices are Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield. Mayfield seems like the most questionable and Darnold had a bad game against Ohio State. Rosen seems to want to play for the Giants.

— Chuck Levin

A: There are obvious question marks with each of the top guys, creating uncertainty for the Browns and media. After the combine and heading into pro days and visits, I’d still say Darnold, with Rosen closing ground. I just haven’t gotten past my durability concerns with Rosen, but I love the way he throws and I’m good with his personality.

Q: How does this trade sound? Browns get Tyrod Taylor and Buffalo’s picks at Nos. 21 and 22. Buffalo gets the No. 4 pick and our third-round pick.

— Bill Basch

A: You stole my thunder. I plan to do an analysis on scenarios other than picking at Nos. 1 and 4, and a trade with the Bills will be one of them.

I believe the Bills want to trade Taylor and draft a quarterback high, so if a quarterback they like is around at No. 4, I would expect a call to the Browns. I don’t think the Browns want to move that far back, but perhaps they feel they can use Nos. 21 and 22 to get back into the top 10.

The key to a possible deal would be Taylor. If the Browns sign Case Keenum, AJ McCarron or Teddy Bridgewater, the trade is dead. But if they strike out in free agency and still need a veteran quarterback, I think they’d be willing to make this deal. Hue Jackson has made it clear he wants a veteran who can win games.

Q: With cornerbacks high in demand in the various mock drafts, with about six being taken in the 1st round — with the Browns taking a quarterback at 1 and either Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fizpatrick at 4. How high could our top two second-round picks packaged together get us back into the first round to beat other teams to the best picks, and is it worth it?

— Paul Freeland

A: I love the idea of using the second-round picks to get back into the first round. The Browns need quality over quantity and shouldn’t add 12 draft picks to the youngest roster in the league. I would expect them to try to trade up throughout the draft.

The Browns traded No. 108 last year to move from 33 to 29. So giving up 35 this year should get them to about No. 15. If they think a difference-maker is there, I wouldn’t hesitate to make the trade.

Q: How far off was Josh Allen’s football IQ than everyone else? His talent was clearly better than the rest in my opinion and his inaccuracies/footwork seem improved and manageable. If he is anything at all like Carson Wentz, we must grab him, but the question is on his football IQ?


A: I don’t think the accuracy questions have been erased despite a good day Saturday. If they were, he’d be the No. 1 pick the draft.

As for his football IQ, I don’t think it’s a major concern. Having said that, he likely isn’t on the same level as Wentz, who blew away NFL teams with his intelligence before the draft.

Q: Do you think Browns could move up to No. 3 in the draft?

— @gemdata

A: With 12 picks, they can do whatever they want. Having the No. 4 pick, I’m sure they could move up one spot by throwing in No. 35 or even No. 64.

The key is the Colts, who hold the No. 3 pick, not wanting the same player as the Browns or being willing to accept their second choice. While feasible, such a deal seems unlikely at this point.

Q: Would you take Tyrann Mathieu for No. 35 and DeShone Kizer? If the Cardinals are looking to trade, should the Browns be interested?

— @bdawgavfc

A: I’m intrigued but going to say no.

The Browns are desperate for help in the secondary and Mathieu is a playmaker, but I’m not sure how he’d fit — even though coordinator Gregg Williams is imaginative and would try to make it work. The Browns’ biggest secondary needs are outside cornerback and free safety, and Mathieu is better in the slot and near the line of scrimmage.

Plus, I’m not ready to give up on Kizer. Too much potential, despite all his flaws.

Q: Do you think that the Browns will make any trades or signings while at the combine?

— @BrianCa67356931

A: The combine wraps up Monday, so no.

The Browns laid the groundwork for potential trades and free agent signings in Indianapolis but I don’t expect anything to get completed until free agency officially opens March 14.




Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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