The Cleveland Browns came away without a quarterback at the conclusion of the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, much to everyone’s surprise.
However, that doesn’t mean they don’t plan to keep trying to find a future starter through other means.
According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns tried to trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Thursday and were rebuked. They ended up trading their No. 12 pick to the Houston Texans — who selected Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson — in exchange for the 25th pick and a 2018 first-round pick.
As a result, the Browns now have a treasure trove of picks next year — two first-rounders, three second-rounders, and two fourth-rounders. According to Cabot, the Browns will continue going after Garoppolo, beginning Friday as the draft continues into the second and third rounds.
Cabot believes the Browns’ offer likely started with the 12th pick but didn’t match the Patriots’ demands. It’s unclear what the Patriots’ asking price is, but as Cabot reports, the Browns have the “ammunition” to make a trade.
The Patriots are reportedly not interested in trading Garoppolo, but at a certain point, they may not be able to turn down an offer if it consists of too many picks.
While the Browns could justifiably use all of those picks, as they have needs at just about every position, quarterback remains their biggest need. The top three quarterbacks in this year’s draft class (considered a weak one for QBs to begin with) have all been taken and few appealing options remain in free agency. The Browns could wait until next year’s draft, but the clock on their enormous rebuilding project continues to tick each day, and perhaps they’d prefer to make a trade for a more proven passer than take a gamble on one next April.
Either way, the Browns appear to be in a good position. They have a considerable amount of draft picks going forward, and if they choose to part with some of them, they could put together an appealing package for someone like Garoppolo.
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