Q: Of the running backs slated to be drafted after Saquon Barkley, which one do you believe is the best fit for the Browns? I’m hoping they select Sony Michel out of Georgia. He’s proven to be an all-around back and an absolute gamer.
— Michael Randall
A: Michel is on my short list. I really like his big-play ability and versatility but question whether he can be a workhorse. USC’s Ronald Jones is intriguing with his size and speed and the possibility of being reunited with quarterback Sam Darnold.
But I think San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny could be the best fit. He has the ability to pile up the carries and is a good mix of power and speed.
Q: The Browns have made several trades since the league year started. Do you foresee any more happening before the draft to include picks? And if so, what and who do you think gets traded?
— Justin Nalley
A: I think any moves before the draft will be minor and I don’t think GM John Dorsey is looking to add picks with nine already in his back pocket. However, once the draft begins anything is possible.
Dorsey could trade down from No. 4, or more likely, up from No. 33 back into the first round. If he takes a receiver early, it wouldn’t be out of the question for receiver Corey Coleman to be dealt.
After the additions to the secondary and more likely coming in the draft, cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun could be dealt on the third day to maneuver in the final rounds.
Q: Who do you think the Browns will take at No. 1 and No. 4? I think that you take Saquon Barkley at No. 1 and take a quarterback No. 4.
— William Roberts
A: I don’t believe in taking a running back — any running back — in the top five, let alone No. 1. And I don’t believe the Browns can afford to pass on a quarterback at No. 1.
I expect the Browns to take USC quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 1 and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward or Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick at No. 4.
Q: How important is finding a great middle linebacker to this front office? We haven’t had one since 1999 and Joe Schobert seems like a nice reserve to me.
— Mike Smith
A: It’s an interesting question, as linebacker has largely been overlooked in the run-up to the draft. And I agree that Schobert isn’t the long-term answer.
But the Browns have invested a lot of money in Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins, and only two linebackers are necessary in the nickel package used so often these days. So I wouldn’t expect linebacker to be a priority.
Q: Who is the best left tackle in this draft and will we have to trade up to get him?
A: The experts like Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey and Texas’ Connor Williams, but neither is viewed as a top-10 pick. The Browns could choose to trade back into the first round in search for one of the top couple of tackles, but more likely is using No. 33 or No. 35. Keep an eye on Ohio State’s Jamarco Jones.
Q: On the assumption that the Browns draft a QB with the first pick, is there any likely scenario in which Tyrod Taylor is part of the Browns future beyond the coming season? If not, do you have a problem with using a valuable pick on a one-year hire?
A: Likely scenario? No. But if Taylor takes the Browns from 0-16 to the playoffs, or even 9-7, that could be enough for the organization to use the franchise tag to keep him for 2019.
But even if the Browns let him leave after one season, as expected, I’m fine with the trade that brought him here. The Browns were in a unique situation coming off 1-15 and 0-16 and in desperate need of an upgrade in experience and performance at quarterback. Taylor will settle the situation, at least for this season, at that’s worth the No. 65 pick in the draft and the $16 million the Browns will pay him in 2018.
Q: With Nos. 33 or 35 it seems like a perfect place for an offensive tackle, between Oregon’s Tyrell Crosby and Ohio State’s Jamarco Jones. Could either be the fit here?
A: I know the Browns have done a lot of work on Jones, including line coach Bob Wylie attending the Ohio State pro day instead of Notre Dame’s. I definitely think he’s in play at No. 35.
Q: How much of what we are hearing today regarding the first pick has any merit? Does any of it?
A: It’s so hard to tell what’s true, false and relevant at this time of the year. GM John Dorsey likes to keep his cards close to the vest, so I don’t believe he’s telling many, if any, his plans.
With that said, I would believe anyone saying the Browns will take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick. I just can’t say for sure which one it will be.
Q: Can you update the current draft order for Rounds 1-7 after all these trades?
A: Yes, I can. With an assist from the team’s media relations department.
Round 1: 1 and 4.
Round 2: 33, 35 and 64.
Round 4: 114.
Round 5: 150.
Round 6: 175 and 188.