After Saquon Barkley’s big Combine, talk that Browns could take him first overall

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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was already considered one of the best prospects in this year’s NFL draft even before the Scouting Combine. But when he put on an incredible display of strength, speed and athleticism in Indianapolis, the talk began that he could actually be the first pick in the draft.

In fact, NFL Network is reporting that as of right now, Barkley is not only a strong candidate but probably the leader within the Browns organization to go with the first overall pick.

In today’s NFL, it sounds crazy that any running back would go first overall. The last running back to go first overall was Ki-Jana Carter in 1995. NFL teams just don’t value running backs like they used to.

And, of course, the Browns desperately need a franchise quarterback, and it would seem crazy for them to pass up on one to take any running back, even a running back prospect as good as Barkley.

However, the Browns also have the fourth overall pick. If they think there are three franchise quarterbacks this year — if they think Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold are all about equal — they could take Barkley first and still ensure themselves a top quarterback at No. 4.

Having a good quarterback is so much more important than having a good running back that if a quarterback and a running back are even close, the quarterback should always go first. But maybe the Browns think Barkley is the best player in the draft, and don’t think it’s close.

87 responses to “After Saquon Barkley’s big Combine, talk that Browns could take him first overall

  1. If they want Barkley its simples. Taken him 1st, And trade with the giants ur 4h and the First of round 2.

    That makes Sense because they still can get the best qb (i dont think the giants want a qb in round 1) and i think that If Barkley is avaliable the giants dont trade the pick And select him

  2. This Bronco fan thinks the running game undervalued.

    Most teams are set up to defend against the pass. That makes them vulnerable to the run, If you can get 3 yards anytime you need it, you can win every game, by running every play.

  3. If the Browns don’t take him at 1 they run the risk of Indi or NY taking him, that or some other team interested in him that might trade up to picks 2 or 3 to get him before they pick 4. On the other hand they might lose out on the QB the like the most if they do take him at 1.

    He’s regarded as the best player in the draft for a good reason, and seeing as he’s more talented than any RB on the Browns roster combined he seems a no brainer to me at first overall.

  4. Probably for the best, their first choice at QB is likely to bust, better they get someone they don’t want as much, might actually work out better for them..

  5. IF and I mean IF they think the top QB’s are about a horse a piece, take the RB #1 and get the left over QB at #4. If you go QB 1 – you’ll never get the RB, he’s gone.

    That said – I don’t really think that there’s a stud QB in this draft, worth mortgaging your team to go up and get either. Mayfield – maybe but he’d benefit the most from a veteran leader to sit behind and the Browns don’t have that either.

  6. Recently the Browns gm Dorsey was asked what the five most important positions are. His reply, QB, pass rusher, corner-back, left tackle and wide receiver. I’m not buying in to any of the Barkley stuff, and I don’t think Dorsey is either. The only way the Browns don’t take a QB at #1 is if they sign Cousins. That’s probably not happening.

  7. Ask Joe flacco how important it is to have a good running back he’s never been to the playoffs without one of his running backs going to the pro bowl that year

  8. .
    ” If they think there are three franchise quarterbacks this year — if they think Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold are all about equal — they could take Barkley first and still ensure themselves a top quarterback at No. 4.”

    ———

    That’s playing it too cute. Like every other team (and Draftnik), the Browns have the QBs ranked. They wouldn’t want to get stuck with QB #3 on their board..
    .

  9. denverdave3 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 5:54 am
    This Bronco fan thinks the running game undervalued.

    Most teams are set up to defend against the pass. That makes them vulnerable to the run, If you can get 3 yards anytime you need it, you can win every game, by running every play.

    —-

    3yds x 3 downs = 9yds / So teams would have to go for it on 4th & 1 every single time?? Win every game???

  10. So if Browns take Barkley, NY is either taking the QB or Trading down
    and someone else will take the QB @ 2 , If Luck is Ok, I see the Colts
    Trading back. Both Top 2 QB will be off the board @ the 4th pick.
    Sounds like a Browns move to me.

  11. I agree that the RB position can be undervalued, but a back that gets you 3 yards per carry is hardly worth the first pick, or even a first round pick.

    However I think Barkley could be a heck of a lot better than that, and could be the best player in the draft. The Browns could use more best players in the draft kind of athletes. I’d take him and choose a QB at 4. I don’t think there is much separation between them.

  12. Biggest issue with taking Barkley i1 and a QB 4th s the shelf-life of RB’s. By the time the QB they get is hitting his prime (3-4 yrs) RB’s are starting to decline.

  13. They absolutely should take him. Any young QB would be well served by a beastly RB to take some pressure off. He would also give the team instant identity and cred. It sounds crazy but teams could actually start fearing the Browns this year.

  14. The Browns are destined to make bad decisions at QB. Take Barkley and Chubb and move on with it.

  15. This kid is Ladanian Tomlinson 2.0 or potentially Marshall Faulk 2.0

    They’d honestly be crazy to pass on him, and for anyone who thinks otherwise think about that 01 draft where the Falcons got Vick and the Chargers took LT and who really benefited the most from that.

    Barkley is a once in a generation talent and with Haley there now, will be the centerpiece of his offense in the same way Bell was in Pittsburgh.

    Behind that line though and with that speed and athleticism he’ll be better than Bell and potentially the best running back in the league next year.

    It’s not crazy to see a running back transform a team and for a more recent example look at Hunt last year and Zeke the year before

  16. 1. Pick up a vet QB in free agency.
    2. Draft Barkley #1.
    3. Draft Quentin Nelson #4 to protect the QB and pave the way for Barkley.
    4. Pay Allen Robinson top dollar.
    5. Playoffs.

  17. browns should take him they have Kizer(id imagine cant get any worst) and can draft any of the other qbs to compete with him.

  18. If the browns can mess this us they will. Barkley is going to be pretty good imo but running backs don’t take you to Super Bowls. People act like teams will have equal grades for each of these qbs and to think that is absolutely crazy and stupid. To just take any qb that falls to 4 is the kind of decisions that makes the browns the worst organization in all of sports. Period. Now if the browns don’t think any of the qbs are franchise qbs then by all means do what you think is right. But, if they have high grades on a any of the qbs you take them at 1. Plain and simple. Teams will be trading up and qbs will be flying off the board. It would not shock me if 2 qbs came off the board before the browns picked again at 4.

  19. Dorsey said he will pick the best player regardless of position…… Barkley #1 – Mikah #4 ……… Sign a vet QB and draft a guy like Riley Ferguson in the 2nd ….

  20. Barkley is very impressive. However, Cleveland’s biggest single problem for many, many years is finding a decent QB. That has to be their #1 priority. There are lots of good RBs in this Draft and a very good one can probably be found in the 2nd round. I may be wrong and Barkley could turn out to be a once in a lifetime player but the Browns have had opportunities to draft QBs like Wentz in the past and settled on mediocrity. Their top priority is to find the best QB.

  21. Pola Pe’a says: Biggest issue with taking Barkley i1 and a QB 4th s the shelf-life of RB’s. By the time the QB they get is hitting his prime (3-4 yrs) RB’s are starting to decline.
    ——————–
    This is why you want a really good running back so that your young QB doesn’t have to carry the load so much, and when the QB is ready the RB doesn’t have to do as much.

    bick54 says: following the blueprint of Jax, you start with building a monster defense. CLE not there yet.
    ————
    Jax followed the blueprint of the Seahawks. Cleveland is close though especially if they hit on a few of these picks and they turn out to be studs.

  22. Use 1 and 4 on Barkley and Chubb (DE).
    Trade picks 35 & 65 to Eagles for Foles – QB solved.
    Use picks 33 and 64 to take the best OL and WR available.

  23. What did John Madden use to say ? A quarterback’s best friend is a good running back. Well, taking Barkley first makes sense then taking your quarterback. There are not many quarterbacks that can win by themselves, unless their Brady or Rodgers.

  24. I like Barkley at #1 and QB at #4. I look at it like the Cowboys with Zeke and Dak. Dak looks decent, but he is a hell of a lot better when Zeke is in there. No point of having a QB in there that is going to get exposed every single play.

    I think that’s why there are some many QB “busts” in the league. They go to the worst teams, who typically have no line and no weapons. Then people wonder why they don’t produce. The most elite QBs wouldn’t flourish in places like that.

  25. The Browns can easily take him and a top QB. They have more than enough ammo to trade up to #2 or #3 if they don’t think their guy is available at 4 so I really don’t think they’re sweating the decision as much as the fans and media are.

  26. Barkley is the only “can’t miss” in the skilled positions except maybe Ridley. The Browns almost have to take him. Barkley ran behind an undersized line at Penn State. He is the total package. Have a feeling one of those QB’s will be available at 4.

  27. If you really have a conviction on which QB you want, trade #4 to Giants and you can get both players.

    You may pay a little more, but at least you got what you wanted. You didn’t have to settle and have to explain 3 years down the road why your QB isn’t really what you were looking for.

    This way, if he sucks, its on you.

  28. McCloughan has said Guice is better than Barkley. Allen is supposedly a clone of Wentz. Any QB the Browns draft will sit for a year behind a free agent QB. I say take Allen at #1, trade down from #4 for OL and get another 2nd rounder, trade back into 1st round and get the Penn State TE, then RB early 2nd round….

  29. Dumb dumb dumb. A good productive running back can be found in the 2nd or 3rd round. i cant even remember the starting RBs in the past super bowl. Trade down if you dont believe in any of the current QBs.

  30. I can’t wait until Howie trades Foles for the Browns 1st overall pick…

    And they draft Barkley….

    And dominate the NFC East for the next 12 years…

    As well as the NFL…

    And nobody will be able to stop them……

  31. The leading rusher in the Super Bowl was an undrafted free agent on his sixth team. He had 90 yards rushing. We see every year that you don’t win Super Bowls with 1st round running backs yet people try and convince themselves otherwise.

  32. Can you say smoke screen. The Browns are not taking Barkley at 1 and neither are the Giants at 2 for that matter. Both are taking QB’s I could see Indy taking him as long as Luck is ok. Browns will get their QB at 1 and be looking at either Chubb or Barkley at 4. Which would be nice if your a Browns fan.

  33. They want Baker Mayfield anyway. He’s not mentioned because of his height. Take the best player on the board when you have 2 of the top 5 picks. It’s not like this hasn’t worked before. The Cowboys just did it with Zeke and Dak.

  34. I would never take a running back 1 overall. I would trade the pick so someone else can. Just look at last year, Kareem Hunt and Kamara were 3rd round picks and tore up the league.

  35. denverdave3 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 5:54 am

    This Bronco fan thinks the running game undervalued.

    Most teams are set up to defend against the pass. That makes them vulnerable to the run, If you can get 3 yards anytime you need it, you can win every game, by running every play.
    ———————-

    Not sure why you are getting thumbs down.. I had a coach once who told us, you don’t have to get me 15 yards every play, if you can run it 3.5 yards every play, every time, we’re going to win and we’re going to win every game. It’s that simple.

  36. I would only take Barkley first if you sign a FA QB. Otherwise, you have to take the QB that you feel that is the best talent, but also fits well with your coaches and scheme.

    As the Browns have so often shown, drafting a good QB isn’t easy…and when you have the opportunity to take the best available (Wentz), take it, and don’t trade the pick or wait for leftovers at 4.

    You might even be able to take the top QB at 1, and then get Barkley at 4. Never know.

  37. You would think after the blunder by Dallas taking zeke over Jalen who just lead a defense to the AFC championship game people would learn.

  38. If the Browns take him at #1, they might be able to select their number one QB at 4, but only if the Giants stay put. My strong feeling is that the Giants have Nelson at the top, and think they could get him at 5 or 6. The Colts are not going QB. If the Browns take Barkley, the Jets and Broncos will try to get in the Giants spot (The Giants don’t want to drop past 7. The Colts, on the other hand, are willing to slide further down for more quality picks and could be a prime trade partner for a team like the Bills. Either way, the Browns would have chance to select one of their top three QB’s. Personally, I wouldn’t take Barkley at #1. MAYBE #4, but as impressive as his highlight reels are, and his measurements, and personality, I’m not sold on his running between the tackles in the NFL.
    Yes, I have been very wrong many times in the past.

  39. Yep, even with smarter people on board, they’re still going to do the Browns thing, which is mess it all up. This would horrify me if I was a Browns fan. Just take last year’s draft. Vikings got Cook in the second round. The Cheifs got Hunt in the third. Numerous teams got pretty good backs in the rounds after that. Even with Ezekiel Elliot, Jalen Ramsey went to the Jags next. They were in their championship game last year with a mediocre QB. You just don’t draft an RB that high because it’s a position to easy to hit on later in the draft and a position that injury too easily can change the player’s trajectory (see Carter for that very scenario).

  40. The Browns should be drafting a supporting cast to put around Kirk Cousins. They’re going to spend the money one way or another. Get Cousins and turn the culture around!

  41. denverdave3 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 5:54 am
    This Bronco fan thinks the running game undervalued.
    Most teams are set up to defend against the pass. That makes them vulnerable to the run, If you can get 3 yards anytime you need it, you can win every game, by running every play.

    ————-

    Certainly with the switch to smaller more mobile LBs that can cover, the run game will continue to re-emerge. I still think it’s about balance though. Eventually near the end of the season there is always a defense that can stop the run cold.

  42. The Browns should take a QB. How many times do they need to pass on a franchise QB only to take a worse QB later in the first round and set their team back another 5 years.

    Take a QB

  43. draftrobot says:
    March 5, 2018 at 9:05 am
    The leading rusher in the Super Bowl was an undrafted free agent on his sixth team. He had 90 yards rushing. We see every year that you don’t win Super Bowls with 1st round running backs yet people try and convince themselves otherwise.

    ———–

    You get to the Super Bowl by being able to attack your opponents weakness. Philly and NE were incredibly similar in their approach. They don’t have one way to play offense. NE has had some of the biggest playoff wins with big performances at RB and then they could not run the ball the very next game and went pass heavy. Teams have to take what they are given by the defense to succeed consistently.

    So an elite RB is way better than an average RB, but you have to be willing to put the game on the QBs shoulders anyway when that is the winning strategy. If you feel like you have to give an elite RB a certain number of touches it can be a problem.

  44. It’s the Browns so it doesn’t matter which QB they take with which pick. The QB will be a bust. Now if another team were to take the same QB, that QB would be a franchise player for the next 10 years winning at least two Super Bowls.

  45. This could be a wise move on the Browns part. If they truly aren’t sold on any of the QBs and think they’re all comparable they can grab Barkley at 1 and then grab whichever of the top 4 QBs are still available at number 4. Now if they favor a certain QB then this could backfire on them because the Jets, Bills and Cardinals will try to trade with the Colts and Giants and get their guy.

  46. They drafted Manziel, I told them not to and Brown fans thumbed me down, they traded out of Wentz, I called it foolish, and Brown fans thumbed me down, they drafted Kizer and passed on Watson and I said he was a mistake, and Brown fans thumbed me down. Now they thumb down the thought of not drafting a qB and taking a RB. Do we see a pattern here? Brown fans have to be the least informed morons on the planet and their owner is laughing all the way to the bank.

  47. nhpats says:
    March 5, 2018 at 8:50 am
    What if Barkley “pulls and Eli” and refuses to play for the Browns

    ////////////////////

    He’s already come out and said the only two teams he will not play for are the packers and pats. And who would blame him.

  48. Interesting fact: no first round RB has made it to a superbowl in the last 7 years with the team that drafted him. Why? Winning teams know thats a dumb move.

  49. The only way the Browns should draft an RB instead of a QB at #1 is if Jim Brown can step into a time machine and come back as 1957 Jim Brown. Not happening, so Cleveland has tot ake a QB. If not, they are stupid.

  50. With the wealth of picks the Browns have, it might not be a bad idea to trade #4 overall and their second to the Giants for #2. Just get both of your guys…

  51. If I were the Browns, I’d try to go after a proven, albeit not elite, QB like Case Keenum in free agency, draft Barkley at one and either Bradley Chubb or Minkah Fitzpatrick at 4 or trade down the 4th overall a few spots and pick up Vita Vea or Calvin Ridley. The Browns are in such a better position coming out of their 0-16 season than the Lions were in 2009, as long as their GM doesn’t screw it up.

  52. I don’t know why they wouldn’t take Barkley first…the team lacks talent and this guy seems like as sure a thing as there can be. Plus, you know the colts aren’t taking a qb at 3, giants may not at 2 even, there’s a chance you still get the QB at 4 that you want and can always package picks to move up from the 4 spot if teams are trying to leapfrog them, they have more draft capital than anyone else…for once, don’t be the browns and do the right thing, I don’t need Saquon Barkley in my division for 10 years lol

  53. Taking Barkley with the 1st pick would be incredibly dumb. Neither the Pats nor the Eagles had even a top 10 rusher. None of the past 5 years winners did either. Lynch was #3 rusher when Seattle won. You need a serviceable back which you can get any round. Take 2 QBs, take Oline, DLine, skill players after day 1.

  54. Most teams don’t make #1 picks like this because most teams don’t have 2 of the top 4 picks in a draft.

    If the Browns get to the end of the first round without Barkley, Mayfield, and the best OL guy available (Nelson?), I’ll be surprised and disappointed in them. Barkley #1, and the other two at #4 and trading as many later picks as it takes to get back into the first round to get the third player. Then sign McCarron and you might just end up the second-best team in the division.

  55. eagles19804 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Taking Barkley with the 1st pick would be incredibly dumb. Neither the Pats nor the Eagles had even a top 10 rusher. None of the past 5 years winners did either.

    ========

    Yes, but those teams *did* have A-list franchise QBs and genuine superstars at other key positions. That puts them in a place where they don’t need an A-list RB as much. When you don’t have the luxury of superstars, you have to take a different route. Look at how many teams have become more relevant/competitive in recent years due to their RBs. It’s not a ticket to the trophy, but it makes a difference, especially in taking pressure off your QB.

  56. heymister24 says:

    March 5, 2018 at 8:47 am

    McCloughan has said Guice is better than Barkley. Allen is supposedly a clone of Wentz. Any QB the Browns draft will sit for a year behind a free agent QB. I say take Allen at #1, trade down from #4 for OL and get another 2nd rounder, trade back into 1st round and get the Penn State TE, then RB early 2nd round….

    *************************************
    McCloughan said Alex Smith was going to be better than Aaron Rodgers. I guess nobody is perfect. Honestly, McCloughan wasn’t the only one. The others are just not admitting it.

  57. jnks10 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 9:40 am

    You would think after the blunder by Dallas taking zeke over Jalen who just lead a defense to the AFC championship game people would learn.

    ===============

    Blunder? They went 13-3 in Elliott’s first season, where he was ridiculously successful, and still went 9-7 last season with him missing 6 games.

    The Cowboys do need to add more to their defense, but there’s a lot more to the equation of those teams’ success or failure than one player.

    We’ll see how the Jags do this season without two of their division rivals missing their star QBs and/or star defensive players.

  58. On a good team Barkley will be a superstar just like Ezekial Elliot. On the Browns he could become the next Trent Richardson. Hopefully the Browns get a QB and can keep Josh Gordon on the field. If they can do those things maybe its worth it. Its funny how many great QB’s they have passed up while trading down and now that they will take one the QB’s this year are weak. And they kept the coach after he went 0-16? Why not let the new GM hire his own coach. I suppose this is another tank year for them.

  59. Personally I just dont see a wow factor qb in this mix. I mean there will be good guys at the four pick as there are at the one pick. Barkley is a no brainer but we are talking the browns who passed on Wentz, Jackson, etc.

  60. eagles19804 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 11:53 am
    Taking Barkley with the 1st pick would be incredibly dumb. Neither the Pats nor the Eagles had even a top 10 rusher. None of the past 5 years winners did either. Lynch was #3 rusher when Seattle won. You need a serviceable back which you can get any round. Take 2 QBs, take Oline, DLine, skill players after day 1.

    //////////////////////

    A smart eagle fan would want the Browns to pick him, because if they don’t he will be going to the giants and the eagles will lose twice to them and twice to the zeke led cowboys

  61. if every team followed the advice of half these comments…RBs have short shelf life…Can find a RB in later rounds…RBs aren’t as valuable…etc

    Barkley shouldn’t be drafted until after the 2nd round…

  62. The careers of RBs only seem to be getting shorter. As others have said, the only reason I wouldn’t take Barkley #1 is that I don’t think RB is one of the “fix it” positions for the Browns right now – at least there are several that should have priority.

    It’s fun to think about Barkley sparking fan interest, but I think it puts far too much pressure on him and brings unrealistic expectations – a great RB can’t carry a team all by himself. Other elements need to be in place, like a good O-line, good receivers and a competent QB so that play action will work.

  63. Yes, but those teams *did* have A-list franchise QBs and genuine superstars at other key positions. That puts them in a place where they don’t need an A-list RB as much. When you don’t have the luxury of superstars, you have to take a different route. Look at how many teams have become more relevant/competitive in recent years due to their RBs. It’s not a ticket to the trophy, but it makes a difference, especially in taking pressure off your QB.
    ******************************************************************************
    They had A-List franchise QBs. Exactly why you wouldn’t waste a #1 one pick on a RB. You don’t win with a RB or a Wideout alone. You win with a QB and protection and on the other side a stout D line. It’s a fact that you can get a RB to “take pressure” of your QB in later rounds. I guess you’re building to be second rate which exactly why you wouldn’t win a super bowl. So you take a QB with 1 or 4 and they’re no good then what?

  64. Pull the trigger!

    A (possibly) great RB along with Duke and if Gordon can stay clean, it might just take the pressure off whatever stiff they put at QB.

    They always screw up QB’s, let’s try drafting a different position at #1.

    If they don’t, some other AFC North team will end up getting him and he’ll torture us for a decade. We all know how this goes.

    Just draft him, a great running back is a big piece of the puzzle too and we don’t have a star running back.

  65. Forget Barkley. CLE can get a good RB with a later pick. Forget B. Chubb as well- they already have Garrett. And forget Nelson- you can’t spend a top 4 pick on a guard. CLE has one obvious hole. That’s the QB position. They have to find a way to fill it. And they can’t afford to make another mistake. So what should they do???

    Draft a QB at #1 ***AND*** at #4. That would blow people’s minds. It would also freak out those two QB’s, to which I say…, good. Let ’em compete, and let the chips fall.

    (For the record I know this will never happen. But life would be more interesting if more people did outside-the-box stuff like this.)

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