Guest of the League
2018 GSI Playoff Challenge
One and Done - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

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
Derek Barnett May 27 4:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DE Derek Barnett (hernia) was not limited in OTAs last week, according to Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com.

Darren Sproles May 27 4:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles was one of two absences - along with DL Michael Bennett - from OTAs last week, according to Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com.

Tyler Eifert May 27 4:03pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) was reportedly moving at 'half speed' last week at OTAs and did not take part in team drills, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Jim Owczarski.

Amari Cooper May 27 12:03am ET

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper said he has been learning a lot from WR Jordy Nelson.

Geno Smith May 26 11:43pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers QB Geno Smith has 're-focused' himself, according to head coach Anthony Lynn, and Smith has been accurate throughout OTAs, according to Ricky Henne of Chargers.com.

Marcus Mariota May 26 11:33pm ET

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota said he has been working on widening his throwing stance to increase his balance and improve his throwing accuracy.

Will Fuller May 26 10:53pm ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller said his goal is to have a better season this year than he had in 2017, and head coach Bill O'Brien said Fuller appears to be back at full speed at OTAs after battling nagging injuries last season.

Christian Hackenberg May 26 10:23pm ET

The New York Jets will only receive a seventh-round pick from the Oakland Raiders as part of the Christian Hackenberg trade if Hackenberg makes Oakland's roster out of training camp and remains on the roster during the season.

DeVante Parker May 26 10:13pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker has not responded to retired WR Chris Chambers' attempts to help him 'speed up his growth curve,' according to Chambers. 'I don't know if he fully gets what it means to be a pro,' Chambers said. 'Athleticism and talent only last so long.'

Mark Walton May 26 9:33pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals RB Mark Walton will mainly contribute on special teams this season, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

Jordan Willis May 26 9:33pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals DE Jordan Willis should serve as the every-down right end in 2018, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

Alex Smith May 26 6:53pm ET

Contract terms for Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith include a $27 million signing bonus and salaries of $13 million in 2018 and $15 million in 2019. Smith's $16 million in 2020 becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2019 league year.

Josh Freeman May 26 5:13pm ET

Former NFL QB Josh Freeman has decided to retire from professional football.

Quandre Diggs May 26 2:23pm ET

Detroit Lions S Quandre Diggs is competing for one of the starting safety jobs this offseason and may be the leading candidate for the job at this point, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein.

De'Anthony Thomas May 26 2:03pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs C Mitch Morse (foot) and WR De'Anthony Thomas (leg) did not participate in organized team activities this week. Head coach Andy Reid said both players are doing well in their recoveries.

Eric Berry May 26 1:53pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (Achilles') and LB Dee Ford (back) participated in organized team activities this week.

Buster Skrine May 26 1:13pm ET

New York Jets CB Buster Skrine worked with the first-team defense during organized team activities this week, but CB Morris Claiborne is also considered a candidate for the starting cornerback job.

Tyler Boyd May 26 12:53pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd likely will be the slot receiver for the Bengals this season but could also see some time as an outside receiver.

Jason Verrett May 26 12:43pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers CB Jason Verrett (knee) has not been cleared for full participation in practice at this point.

Julius Thomas May 26 12:43pm ET

Free-agent TE Julius Thomas (Dolphins) could be an option for the Los Angeles Chargers because of TE Hunter Henry's (knee) injury, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams.