Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Who are Browns' potential trade partners?
By James Walker
The Cleveland Browns have made it no secret they are willing to listen to trade offers for the No. 6 overall pick. The team has several holes to fill and would consider sliding down the first round for the right price.
But chances are one of the top two quarterbacks -- Auburn's Cam Newton or Missouri's Blaine Gabbert -- would have to fall out of the top five to make this happen. Quarterback is the one position that gets teams most antsy to trade up. The Baltimore Ravens' deal last year with the Denver Broncos for Tim Tebow is the most recent example.
So who are possible trade partners for Cleveland this year? Let's take a look.
Pick: No. 8 overall
Analysis: The Titans are in a pretty good spot if one of the top quarterbacks slides in this draft. Therefore, they could sit and take their chances at No. 8. But with the threat of other teams willing to move ahead, taking matters into their own hands also is an option for the Titans. The San Francisco 49ers could be a sleeper team looking for a quarterback at No. 7 as well, although they have been singing the praises of Alex Smith this offseason. With Vince Young and Kerry Collins not expected to return, Tennessee has to add someone at quarterback either via the draft or free agency.
Pick: No. 10
Analysis: The Redskins are expected to let go of Donovan McNabb once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. So if Gabbert or Newton starts to fall within reach, look out. Washington is known to trade its draft picks to acquire talent, but usually it's for veteran players. But the point is the Redskins are not afraid to part ways with valuable selections to get a player they really want. Meanwhile, the Browns could gain extra picks and still draft a top-10 player on their board.
Pick: No. 12
Analysis: The Vikings are a veteran team and they are desperate, which is why I think Minnesota is the most likely of this group to trade up to land a quarterback. Minnesota has a lot of good pieces in place on offense and defense. Just two years ago this team was in the NFC title game. But last year proved that without good quarterback play, the Vikings are limited. Starter Brett Favre is retiring, leaving the unproven Joe Webb as the main option right now in Minnesota.
Pick: No. 15 overall
Analysis: The Dolphins also are searching for a quarterback, but they are less likely to be a trade partner than the other aforementioned teams. For starters, Miami doesn't have a second-round pick. That means the Dolphins probably can't offer the Browns enough to trade up, especially since the Dolphins are at No. 15 and have the longest way to go. Also, Miami appears content with targeting second-tier quarterbacks like Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, who should be available in the middle of the first round or later.