It’s only been a single day since the Cleveland Browns were on the clock. Acting general manager Levy’s Beard took USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the first overall pick. Now he must make his follow-up choice. With the best defensive player off the board, I think everyone pretty much knows where this is going.
Before we get into the pick, here’s a look at how things have progressed thus far (click on the pick to see the rationale for each selection):
- Cleveland Browns - QB Sam Darnold
- New York Giants - DE Bradley Chubb
- New York Jets - QB Baker Mayfield
With the fourth overall pick the Browns have selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Here’s Levy’s Beard with the write-up for his slam-dunk pick:
The fourth pick was always more interesting to me than the first overall one. There doesn’t seem to be as many sure-fire top five picks in this year’s draft compared to others, so it was going to be interesting to see what the Giants and Jets did with their selections. I was hoping (expecting) that both would take a quarterback, and then I would be left to choose between Bradley Chubb and Saquon Barkley. I felt that Chubb presented more value at the pick since it is far more difficult and expensive to find elite edge rushers via free agency, but, of course, Ira Inept made sure that my plans were somewhat inept when he picked Chubb second overall.
With that said, Barkley is a fantastic consolation prize. For one, he will immediately take pressure off of first overall pick Sam Darnold, and give him time to grow in the same manner Ezekiel Elliot has done for Dak Prescott. Secondly, Barkley brings with him near historical measurables, with a 9.96 RAS score, a 4.40 forty time from a 6-foot, 233 pound back, a 29 bench presses, and a 41 inch vertical. Plus, he can be the kind of player that can come into the Browns team and potentially be their best runner and receiver. He caught 54 balls last season for 632 yards and three touchdowns on top of his 1271 yards and 18 TDs on the ground, while the Browns’ leading wide receiver was Ricardo Lewis with 32 receptions for 357 yards, and no touchdowns.
What grade do you give this pick?
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