A huge trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns involving draft picks seems to point in one direction: Robert Griffin III will be a starting quarterback next season, or at least head into training camp with a good chance of that happening.
How do we figure that? The Browns had the number two overall pick. Until the Tennessee Titans traded the number one overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams, the Browns were in the perfect position to take a quarterback of their liking. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, it didn’t matter. The Titans, who drafted Marcus Mariota last season with the second overall pick and are pleased with the direction he’s taking them in, weren’t going to use the number one overall pick on a quarterback.
And then the Titans-Rams trade happened. The Rams, looking for a QB, suddenly have the number one overall pick. The Browns no longer had control of getting the one quarterback they want. Is there someone they want more than anyone else? It’s not quite certain, and maybe that is what pushed them to make a move downwards, also trading away a fourth round pick in 2017. In return, the Browns get the number 8 overall pick, a third round pick (77), a fourth round pick (100), a 2017 first round pick and a 2018 second round pick. Yes, the Eagles seemed to have really gotten screwed in this deal.
The only reason Philadelphia move up while giving up this much is if they have one specific player they want. Some thing it’s a quarterback – whoever the Rams won’t pick. Their general manager Howie Roseman said it puts them in a position to draft an impact player. The Eagles have been working out quarterbacks, but maybe this is all a smokescreen to get someone else completely? Laremy Tunsil? Jalen Ramsey? Who knows.
The Browns can still take a quarterback. Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook will still be available, but isn’t it too much of a reach to go after these guys in the top 10? Probably. Maybe the Browns take a quarterback a bit later in the draft. Dak Prescott? Christian Hackenberg? There are a lot of options. But this move, more than anything, suggests they’re willing to see if Griffin, at least as a one year rental, can hold down the fort at quarterback while Colt McCoy waits for his chance. The Browns don’t plan on winning too many games in 2017 anyway.