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What grade would the Browns get if they drafted Josh Allen and Saquon Barkley?

A friend of John Dorsey’s told the MMQB he thinks the Browns general manager will go Allen and Barkley at No. 1 and No. 4.

Green Bay Packers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Browns are in the driver’s seat for the 2018 NFL Draft. They have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks, and a new general manager who is trying to turn around the NFL’s saddest franchise.

A friend of GM John Dorsey’s told the MMQB he believes the Browns will go with Josh Allen No. 1 overall and Saquon Barkley at No. 4.

“I would be surprised if he traded down,” the friend told the MMQB’s Peter King. “This would be his chance to take his two offensive cornerstones for the next eight or 10 years.”

Grading the Browns taking Josh Allen No. 1 overall

The thinking behind this one, as Ian Rapoport pointed out on Twitter, is that Dorsey, who worked for the Seahawks, Packers, and Chiefs before the Browns, has almost always had quarterbacks with big arms (minus Alex Smith). King agreed with Rapoport, specifically mentioning Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, and even Brock Huard back in the day in Seattle. Josh Allen is the cannon of the draft, though certainly not the most impressive quarterback in terms of what he actually did on the field in college.

Sam Darnold is the heavy favorite to be picked here. He’s been mocked to the Browns in most mock drafts, except for Mel Kiper’s, who has consistently mocked Allen to the Browns.

In Dan Kadar’s latest mock draft for SB Nation, he still has the Browns going with Darnold. He writes, “Although there are some reports that Cleveland is deciding between Darnold and Josh Allen, it’s just difficult to see what the Wyoming quarterback does better besides having a massive arm. Darnold has his flaws, obviously, but if he can sit a year and figure out his turnover issues, he can prove to be the draft’s top quarterback.”

I have to agree with Kadar here, and say that while I think there’s plenty of potential for Allen, Darnold would be the safer pick.

Grade: C+

Grading the Browns taking Saquon Barkley No. 4 overall

This is a no-brainer. If Barkley is available here, the Browns have to add the player many consider to be the best in the draft. It would give Tyrod Taylor weapons that include Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, David Njoku, and Barkley. That’s a young and talented arsenal for Taylor to work with, and for the quarterback they draft, it’s a great starting cast to have whenever he eventually takes the reins.

Kadar also has the Browns going with Barkley at No. 4, with the Giants and Jets taking Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield, respectively. He wrote of Barkley, “The plan for the Browns is to sit their quarterback choice for a season behind Tyrod Taylor. That means the team really needs to get an impact player with its second first-round selection. Whether or not it actually happens at No. 4 is the intrigue. It could be down a spot because Denver might want to ensure they get Allen. Or it could be down at 11 or 12 because Miami and Buffalo may feel the same way. But if Cleveland can add Barkley, it would give them a player who can step directly into the offense and make plays.”

That’s what the Browns need: somebody who can make plays on offense. Their defense is young, and overlooked because of how bad the offense has been the past couple of seasons. So it makes sense to go ahead and take Barkley, as opposed to Bradley Chubb or Minkah Fitzpatrick. We all know good offense isn’t something they’ve done a lot of since 1999. But the pieces seem like they could be falling into place for once. The bigger concern is clearly who they decide is their quarterback of the future.

Grade: A+

A grade for the collective moves: B+

It seems like the Browns are in such a good situation that even they couldn’t mess this up. But you would be naive to think that they somehow couldn’t — they’re the Browns. They made the best choice last season when they drafted Myles Garrett at No. 1, but they still managed to go 0-16.

Even if the Browns’ haul from the draft were Allen at No. 1, and Barkley at No. 4, I wouldn’t have too many complaints. I’m sure there would be some griping about Allen, and I get it, I wouldn’t take Allen either. But while the class is loaded at quarterback, there’s no sure thing.

The Browns have fallen on their face at quarterback in the last two drafts, passing on both Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson. The pressure is on to pick their next franchise quarterback. But no matter who they draft, they’ll be getting two of the assumed best players in the draft loaded with potential in these spots.

If Allen doesn’t work out, Taylor is an above-average quarterback in the NFL who will finally have a breadth of weapons around him. If that’s the worst-case scenario, the Browns will take it.