The Cleveland Browns are in an interesting position with the No. 10 pick in the draft, and at least one analyst sees the possibility for the team to make an interesting move to bolster their roster via a draft-day trade.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell broke down trades every team can make on draft day, and for the Browns the move was moving back just a few spots while picking up some offensive line help along the way.
In Barnwell’s trade, the Browns get guard Gabe Jackson — a former third-round pick that has started every game he’s played in since 2015 with the Las Vegas Raiders. As he puts it: “By trading down, the Browns are able to acquire Jackson, who would immediately step in as one of the league’s best right guards as an upgrade on Wyatt Teller. The 28-year-old, who was the subject of trade talks earlier this offseason, has three years and just under $28 million remaining on his contract. Cleveland could then use the No. 12 pick on one of those tackles.”
The Browns would also acquire the Raiders’ No. 12 pick, moving back just two sports with the ability to still draft an offensive tackle. Barnwell sees the Raiders being eager to move up to grab wide receiver Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who could be taken by the Jets at No. 11.
The final piece of the trade would be the Browns acquiring the Raiders’ third-round pick (No. 81 overall).
Offensive Line Area of Need for Browns
The Browns have been looking to bolster their offensive line this offseason, already making a move to sign Jack Conklin to occupy one of the tackle spots. Conklin was drafted No. 8 overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2016 out of Michigan State. He started 38 of his 39 career games — 35 at left tackle, three at right tackle — with the Spartans.
Conklin was a first-team All-Pro selection his rookie year and has started every game of his NFL career that he’s been healthy for. He played just nine games in 2018 due to injury, but hasn’t missed a game in his other three seasons.
Conklin joins a line that includes steady veterans J.C. Tretter and guard Joel Bitonio, a Pro Bowler last season. The Browns have also been reported to be interested in Redskins disgruntled tackle Trent Williams via trade.
Williams — a seven-time Pro Bowl selection — held out for the first part of the season. According to ESPN, Williams’ early-season absence had to do with his distrust of the team’s medical staff, something that stems from a growth on his head he had removed in the offseason. After returning, failed his physical due to helmet discomfort stemming from the growth removal.
Browns GM: Don’t Make Assumptions on Draft Plans
The Browns have the No. 10 pick in the draft, so it’s assumed that they’ll take one of the elite offensive tackle prospects in the stacked class, make sense to shore up a spot on the offense that needs attention.
However, general manager Andrew Berry made it clear in his conference call with reporters this week that no one should make assumptions on what the Browns will do with their pick.
“Jack (Conklin) has played left tackle before. Chris Hubbard has played left tackle before. Kendall Lamm has played left tackle,” Berry told reporters, per cleveland.com. “I would not make any assumptions about what we may or may not do moving forward.”