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Tough choice: Browns mulling 4 quarterbacks with No. 1 pick

Tue Apr 24 3:41pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

In this April 19, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey answers questions about the draft during a news conference at the NFL football team's training camp facility, in Berea, Ohio. With the NFL draft quickly approaching, the teams die-hard supporters, and there have been few groups in NFL history to suffer like this one has the past two seasons, are divided over which of the top four college QBs the team should select. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)


CLEVELAND (AP) As far as Cleveland fans are concerned, only one quarterback fits all the essential criteria for the Browns to draft him with the No. 1 overall pick.

His last name? Darnoldallenrosenmayfield.

With the NFL draft quickly approaching, the team's die-hard supporters, and there have been few groups in NFL history to suffer like this one has the past two seasons, are divided over which of the top four college QBs the team should select.

There's the Sam Darnold contingent, which sees the two-year Southern Cal starter as the safest choice, the one who checks all the positive boxes. Josh Allen's supporters point to the big Wyoming QB's high-velocity arm, which could help him knife passes through those tricky home winds off Lake Erie.

Josh Rosen's backers love the UCLA star's accuracy and his cerebral game. And of course there's the Baker Mayfield army, which dismiss his 6-foot frame and believe Oklahoma's swaggering Heisman Trophy winner is the next Brett Favre.

Oh, and let's not forget the fans who feel Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is worthy of going first and that the Browns can wait until No. 4 to get their quarterback.

But while there's no clear consensus between fans as the Browns prepare for a franchise-changing draft, general manager John Dorsey and his staff will have presumably reached an accord by the time Commissioner Roger Goodell is handed their card on the stage at AT&T Stadium.

If not, well, these are the bumbling Browns.

Cleveland's inability to find a franchise quarterback - they've had 28 starters since 1999 - is the biggest reason for the team's sustained misery. And once again they have the chance to correct the problem after passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the past two drafts.

Dorsey, who as Kanas City's GM got the Chiefs turned around with some solid drafts, has been aggressive in fixing mistakes by previous Cleveland regimes. Since December, he's traded for QB Tyrod Taylor and Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry, revamped the secondary and spent months scouting the top quarterbacks.

He knows what he's looking for.

''The only thing I really care about is do the guys win?'' he said ''Does he have accuracy? Does he have a strong arm? Can he throw the ball in the red zone and in tight windows? Can he drive the ball? At the end of the game, does he win? That is kind of what I look for.''

TRADE WINDS

Dorsey insists he's keeping his options open, and that he'd trade the top pick for the right package. ''My phone always rings,'' he said. And with several teams in the market for a quarterback, it's likely the Browns will entertain offers. However, that doesn't mean Dorsey will make a deal.

The Browns remain haunted by their decision to trade first-round picks with Philadelphia and Houston the past two years, swaps that cost them Wentz and Watson.

HANDY MAN

Dorsey raised some eyebrows last week when he cited the importance of hand size as one of his top criteria in selecting a quarterback. Cleveland's inclement weather can make gripping the ball a challenge, and therefore the bigger the hand, the better.

Using hands as an exclusive measuring stick, Allen (10 1/8 inches) would be Dorsey's favorite over Rosen (9 7/8), Darnold (9 3/8) and Mayfield (9 1/4).

DYNAMIC DUO

The top pick isn't the only tough choice for the Browns, who may be torn at No. 4 between taking Barkley (if he's still available) or North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb.

The 6-foot-4, 270 pound Chubb would be a perfect complement to Myles Garrett, last year's top overall pick who had a solid rookie season despite being slowed by an ankle injury. Chubb led the ACC with 10 sacks last season, and the thought of having to block him and Garrett would give an NFL offensive coordinator nightmares.

''I would be thrilled to have a guy like that because he fits all of the models we talk about,'' Dorsey said. ''He is a good football player. He is a man of character. He would be great in the locker room. Really, he is a super kid.''

HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS

Garrett was a smart pick, but the Browns haven't been so savvy in recent years. Of the team's 11 first-round selections since 2012, only four are still with the team - and three were selected last year.

Wide receiver Corey Coleman (No. 15 in 2016) has struggled with injuries and inconsistency. The Browns did find a late-round gem that year in linebacker Joe Schobert (No. 99 overall), who made the Pro Bowl in his second season.

Player Notes
Josh Allen Oct 23 9:50pm ET

The Buffalo Bills will likely be without at least two starters when they host the New England Patriots on Monday night. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen (elbow) and defensive end Trent Murphy (knee) are both currently listed as week-to-week. Allen, who missed last week's contest, has already been declared out for the Patriots game. As a result, veteran Derek Anderson will get another start under center. Murphy left the Indianapolis game early and didn't return. If Murphy is unable to go against the Pats, either Eddie Yarbrough or Shaq Lawson will likely garner the start. Running backs LeSean McCoy (concussion) and Taiwan Jones (neck) are questionable for the game as well. From a fantasy perspective, none of this news really should impact any of your decisions except if you own McCoy.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Maye Oct 23 9:40pm ET

The Arizona Cardinals fielded an inquiry from the New York Jets on cornerback Patrick Peterson, according to a source. However, the Cardinals aren't trading Peterson to the Jets, barring a miracle. The Jets are in desperate need of secondary help with cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine and safety Marcus Maye all currently injury, but it doesn't look like Peterson will be coming to save them. Peterson is an All-Pro cornerback that has asked out of Arizona as they rebuild, but it appears the Cardinals have no interest in dealing him, at least as of right now.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Oct 23 9:40pm ET

Teams are expressing interest in trading for both New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins and Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley with the cornerback market heating up with the Oct. 30 deadline quickly approaching. The Eagles, Patriots and Steelers are among the teams exploring their options. The Giants and Raiders are both well out of the race already and are in rebuilding mode, with the Raiders no secrets to trades, already dealing All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper. Neither Jenkins nor Conley have played very well this year, but they could be an upgrade for a team in need of secondary help.

From RotoBaller

Paxton Lynch Oct 23 7:53pm ET

Free-agents QB Paxton Lynch (Broncos) and TE Ben Koyack (Jaguars) worked out for the Tennessee Titans Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Josh Ferguson Oct 23 7:43pm ET

Houston Texans RB Josh Ferguson was released Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Doug Middleton Oct 23 7:33pm ET

New York Jets S Doug Middleton (pectoral) was sent to the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Aaron Burbridge Oct 23 7:33pm ET

Free-agent WR Aaron Burbridge (49ers) was re-signed to the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Albert Wilson Oct 23 7:00pm ET

While Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (hip) won't need surgery, he's still likely to be placed on Injured Reserve to give him time to recover, according to a source. He won't be eligible to return for eight weeks, so fantasy owners that added him last week off waivers will need to dump him already. Kenny Stills is also out for Thursday against the Texans, so Miami will go with Danny Amendola, Jakeem Grant and Devante Parker in three-wide sets. Amendola is the most attractive fantasy option in PPR leagues and could serve as a WR3 as a bye-week filler.

From RotoBaller

George Kittle Oct 23 7:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is emerging as a top-tier TE1. After adding 98 yards to his total in Week 7, Kittle now has 527 yards for the season, good for third amongst tight ends and 17th overall in the NFL. The second-year man continues to lead all Niners skill players in snaps (84%) and targets (49). With running back Matt Breida (ankle) questionable, Kittle could feature even more in the short-range passing attack. The 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8, who have been stingy against tight ends. However, Kittle remains matchup-proof due to his high floor and prominent role in the offense.

From RotoBaller

Everson Griffen Oct 23 6:50pm ET

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who has been away from the team since Sept. 20 to deal with his personal health, will resume activities with the team on Wednesday. It remains to be seen if Griffen will play in Week 8 against the Saints, but it's a step in the right direction for a player that had a career-high 13 sacks in 2017. When on the field, he's the team's best pass rusher and would give them a big boost if he were to return. In IDP leagues, Griffen is a difference-maker.

From RotoBaller

Albert Wilson Oct 23 6:43pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson (hip) won't need surgery on his injured hip, but he is expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Fantasy Spin: This is a sizable loss for the Dolphins who are now shallow at wide receiver. Jakeem Grant, Danny Amendola and DeVante Parker will benefit this week with both Wilson and Kenny Stils out. Amendola is the most reliable Miami receiver, but Grant has the most big-play ability.

Kyle Williams Oct 23 6:40pm ET

The Buffalo Bills are 2-5 on the season and they really don't have much to look forward to for the remainder of the season. So why not take a look at who the team could select in the 2019 NFL draft? According to various outlets, the Bills will likely choose an offensive or defensive lineman in the first round. Depending on where exactly they pick, defensive tackle Ed Oliver (Houston) or edge rusher Nick Bosa (Ohio State), along with offensive tackles Jonah Williams (Alabama) and Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia), could be available. Any one of the four players would likely be counted on to contribute immediately. The Bills offensive line has been one of the worst in the league this year, while they also could use more depth on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle Kyle Williams and outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

From RotoBaller

Jay Bromley Oct 23 6:03pm ET

New Orleans Saints DT Jay Bromley (biceps) was sent to the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 23, after suffering a torn biceps in Week 7.

Geoff Swaim Oct 23 5:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim (knee) and right guard Zack Martin (knee) have both been diagnosed with sprained MCLs. The good news is that the Cowboys are on bye in Week 8, but MCL sprains typically can cost a player anywhere from two to four weeks of missed time. That means that both Swaim and Martin might not be ready to return in Week 9. With Swaim likely to miss a game or two, the Cowboys will use some combination of Blake Jarwin, Rico Gathers and rookie Dalton Schultz. They can all be avoided in fantasy, especially with Dallas adding receiver Amari Cooper via a trade.

From RotoBaller

Obi Melifonwu Oct 23 5:33pm ET

Oakland Raiders S Obi Melifonwu (hip) was waived from the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 23, according to a source.

Anthony Miller Oct 23 5:30pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller could see an increase in playing time if teammate Allen Robinson doesn't play in Week 8 against the Jets. Robinson is dealing with a groin injury and was unable to finish the Bears loss to the Patriots in Week 7. If he doesn't suit up, expect Miller to step in to make some plays. The rookie has only 11 receptions on the season but two of those catches have gone for touchdowns. He will go up against a Jets defense that has allowed seven touchdowns to receivers over their last four games. Fantasy owners who are desperate could take a flier on Miller as a player with an extremely low floor but could find the end zone in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Oct 23 5:30pm ET

The Chicago Bears defense has really struggled the past two weeks but will have an opportunity to bounce back at home against the Jets. The Bears were averaging 4.5 sacks through their first four games this season but their pass rush has disappeared due to the ankle injury to Khalil Mack. They will go up against a Jets offense that is helmed by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. The rookie already has 10 interceptions on the season and can be prone to making mistakes. Mack's status will have be monitored through the week but the Bears defense will be a solid play against the Jets offense regardless. New York has allowed opposing defenses to score eight or more points against them in five of their first seven games. The Bears defense can be started with confidence for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Randy Gregory Oct 23 5:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory (knee) underwent arthroscopic surgery on his injured knee Tuesday, Oct. 23. Dallas is hopeful that Gregory won't miss any action as Week 8 is their bye week.

Trey Burton Oct 23 5:20pm ET

Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton will look to build off of the best game of his young career in Week 8 against the Jets. Burton exploded for nine catches, 126 yards and one touchdown while making plays all over the field. He will go up against a Jets defense that is allowing the 17th fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season but allowed two touchdowns to tight ends in Week 6. The Jets are coming off a performance where they held Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph to 16 receiving yards but they have not faced an athletic tight end like Burton yet this season. Burton will be a top-8 choice among his position in fantasy and should be in lineups, especially in PPR-leagues, for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Taylor Gabriel Oct 23 5:20pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel will try and bounce back against a Jets defense that is allowing the seventh most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Gabriel caught only three passes for only 26 yards after back-to-back 100-yard performances the previous two games. He will face a Jets secondary that has allowed seven touchdowns to receivers over their last four games and six different receivers have posted over 100 yards against them. With teammate Allen Robinson banged up and possibly questionable to play, Gabriel should see plenty of targets. Gabriel will head into Week 8 with a high ceiling and FLEX appeal in fantasy.

From RotoBaller