Opinion: Browns trading back is the way to go

Ty Sugick

With the Los Angeles Rams trading up to the No. 1 spot in the upcoming NFL draft, it’s no mystery they gave away multiple picks for either quarterbacks Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.

The issue for the Cleveland Browns is now this: Do they select the quarterback not taken by the Rams, draft a lineman to avoid the media criticism or trade back?

All options will come with great doubt from fans. But then again, in Cleveland, the fans hate every first-round selection because it’s usually a bust waiting to happen.

Let’s say the Rams select Goff and we follow the fan base trend—which, is pointing toward selecting Wentz. But selecting a quarterback in the first round means the organization sees fit that he is able to start the first game of the 2016 season for them. However, in most opinions, neither of the two are NFL-ready quarterbacks.

When flipping the switch, the other option that have surfaced for the Browns is to consider a deal that would ship Joe Thomas—an aging All-Pro, left tackle—to another team in exchange for another first-round draft pick.

The Browns would then select Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil and attack other positions later.

The idea of Cleveland playing it safe and drafting a lineman would only make the Dawg Pound more irate, as this move has become the team’s favorite cop-out when they’re afraid of taking a chance on a skilled guy.

The Browns are in quite a predicament due to the fact that everyone is aware that Robert Griffin III is not the quarterback of the future; nobody even knows if his body will be able to handle a rigorous full NFL season.

Drafting a quarterback of the future at No. 2 can be reassuring, but also adds pressure to the young gunslinger if he does not start week one, as we all saw with Johnny Manziel.

The best bet to make everyone happy and for all front-office guys to hold onto their jobs for another year is to trade back. Trading back gives the Browns time to let both top quarterbacks to be drafted before having the opportunity to take them.

Trading back also would give the team a chance to stockpile more picks to help out in the many other areas in need of it. It also puts the team in the perfect position to make a run at Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell.

Forget Treadwell’s lackluster pro day numbers; he provides a unique skill-set to win jump balls and be an offensive game changer. He is also a true No. 1 receiver in this offense and would set the Browns’ offensive roster to be much like the how Bengals’ roster head coach Hue Jackson lead his team to the playoffs last season.

Treadwell would be the perfect compromise for Cleveland fans and the team’s front office. Why? Because he can make plays and have a chance to make a notable difference on day one.

Ty Sugick is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].