Rumors circulated following the NFL Combine that the Cleveland Browns might throw a curve ball into the 2018 Draft by selecting running back Saquon Barkley with the top pick. Given time to think about that decision and the movement of picks below their No. 1 selection, the Browns simply must take a quarterback here or risk losing out on “their guy” entirely.
They’ll have their pick of the best passers in the draft, but Sam Darnold has been front and center for the Browns for some time. When the Browns are put on the clock for the first time, they’ll draft their quarterback of the future rather than move back in the draft as they have done in years prior.
What separates Darnold from the rest of this quarterback class is his toughness and poise in the pocket. A more promising passer than some of the Browns’ more recent quarterbacks like Deshone Kizer, Kevin Hogan or Robert Griffin III, Darnold can make every throw. He plays with a fearlessness that can get him in trouble, but should be able to find success if he can curtail interceptions which plagued him at USC.