Q: GM John Dorsey loves to trade. So are the Browns going to make any more trades before the beginning of the regular season? And if so, who is the most likely to be shipped?
— Justin Nalley
A: I’m assuming another trade or two are in store, although Dorsey has done much of the heavy lifting regarding the roster. He clearly wasn’t satisfied with the team he inherited — the lack of “real” players — and despite a flurry of trades, free agent signings and nine draft picks, likely feels there’s more work to be done. The final determination can’t be made until the players go through OTAs, minicamp and training camp.
Any trades will arise from three areas: a key injury, a positional need, a player no longer in the team’s plans. Injuries are difficult to predict, so we’ll focus on the other two areas.
Dorsey’s multitude of moves has added depth across the roster, but safety remains a spot to watch. Damarious Randall at free safety and Jabrill Peppers at strong safety are locked in as the starters, with Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Derrick Kindred the likely backups. Boddy-Calhoun would have to make the switch from corner, so Dorsey may choose to bring in someone else. A starting-caliber defensive tackle could also be on the wish list.
After the trade of cornerback Jamar Taylor to the Cardinals, it’s fair to wonder who else Dorsey wants to dump. Disappointing receiver Corey Coleman, the No. 15 pick in 2016, is a popular candidate and could be expendable if rookie fourth-rounder Antonio Callaway emerges. Punter Britton Colquitt could also be shipped after the addition of Justin Vogel.
Q: What are the chances we see even more trades before the upcoming season? We seem to have an abundance of DE candidates. Do you see anyone specific they could move and to whom?
— Hank Parsons
A: A popular question.
Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah are the clear starters at defensive end, with third-round pick Chad Thomas, Chris Smith, Carl Nassib and Nate Orchard next on the depth chart. While I don’t see an abundance of talent, I do see too many players to keep.
Thomas and Smith seem like locks after Dorsey acquired them, which would pit Nassib, Orchard and an off-the-radar candidate for the final spot. I’d take Orchard, who’s battled injuries, over Nassib, who has been a disappointment with 5.5 sacks in two seasons. Nassib’s 6-foot-7 height could make him intriguing to another 4-3 team outside the AFC North. Dorsey isn’t a fan of trading inside the division.
Q: Can you surmise John Dorsey’s thinking on the two 6-foot-3 former Michigan collegiate quarterbacks Drew Stanton and Brogan Roback? Is he hoping Stanton can mentor Roback as he hopes Tyrod Taylor will for Baker Mayfield?
— Robert Williams
A: I don’t think the signing of Roback is that complicated. The Browns needed a fourth quarterback for the offseason and training camp, wanted a young, developmental passer and didn’t like Joel Stave during rookie minicamp. Roback also brings good size and could wind up on the practice squad.
Taylor has accepted Mayfield, but his main priority is preparing to start. That’s why the addition of Stanton was so important. Stanton’s chief job is to mentor Mayfield, the No. 1 pick. Roback is free to hang around and learn, as well.
Q: Is Carlos Hyde potential trade bait due to Georgia rookie RB Nick Chubb being drafted in the second round? Why the need for three highly paid RBs? The third RB spot should be filled by inexpensive, undrafted free agent (i.e., Isaiah Crowell).
A: The draft must be over, because the talk has turned to trades.
I don’t disagree with your point about building a running back room, but I don’t think the Browns will ship Hyde. When GM John Dorsey added him in free agency, he had already done plenty of scouting for the draft. I believe Dorsey’s plan all along was to add Hyde and a rookie to go along with Duke Johnson, the team’s best offensive player last season.
For once, the Browns have depth at a critical position and it’d be wise to hang on to that. However, if Chubb emerges as the workhorse and Hyde’s playing time is reduced, he could hit the trade market then.
Q: Can the Browns present uniform options to fans and let us vote on them or do they have to submit final design in secret for the unnecessary Nike uniform reveal?
A: For all the league’s recent reveals I don’t recall the fans having a say. What’s more likely is a leak to gauge the reaction and allow fans to get used to the new fashion.
I’m not a big uniform guy, but it’s clear to me in today’s world no design will satisfy everyone. Many favor tradition, while others want something new and bold. The good news is I don’t think the Browns can do worse than the last change.
Q: Who are going to be the starting DTs?
A: Trevon Coley and Larry Ogunjobi are the prohibitive favorites. Coley came out of nowhere last season to start 15 games and hold his own. Ogunjobi, a third-round pick last year, started one game as a rookie but made an impact off the bench. He showed good quickness and strength and is poised for a big jump in Year 2, especially after making the large adjustment from the University of Charlotte.
Jamie Meder and Caleb Brantley are the other options and will see plenty of time, Meder more of a run stopper and Brantley with pass-rush potential. As noted above, I wouldn’t rule out a trade for someone to challenge Coley for the starting job.