Is the Price for Bradford Too Steep for the Browns?
10 days until the draft and there is one question on the mind of every Cleveland Browns fan: Will the Browns trade up for University of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and is the price to do so too steep? Unless you've been pulling a Rip Van Winkle or marooned on an island without internet access, then you are probably aware that new Cleveland Browns' executive Mike Holmgren has jettisoned both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn in favor of Seattle Seahawks backup Seneca Wallace and aging Carolina Panther Jake Delhomme.
Those two, along with holdover Brett Ratliff, currently man the most important position on your favorite team and this has done little to inspire Browns faithful. Fueled by a variety of comments by The Big Show, speculation has run the gamut from: "we won't draft a quarterback in the first two rounds", to: "we may draft two quarterbacks in this draft", to: "we may trade up for a quarterback, but only if he is a 15 year quarterback".
It is this last comment that has the city's residents all abuzz.
There are only two quarterbacks in this draft considered to be worthy of first round picks: Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. In late March, Holmgren went on the record with the stunning pre-draft comment: "I wish I liked Clausen more."
Following this comment and the media firestorm that followed, two camps emerged. One declared Holmgren to be refreshingly candid, the other dismissed the comments as a smokescreen. After those comments, Holmgren attended Bradford's pro-day where Sam established that his shoulder had healed and he aced every throw during this session. Holmgren immediately declared his undying affection for Bradford and remained unfailingly pro-Bradford ever since.
The combination of his last statement regarding trading up and his pro-Bradford sentiment, have many in Cleveland wondering if he will indeed pull the trigger on draft day for the 6'4" gunslinger from Oklahoma. With five picks in the first 92 picks, the Browns have the most ammunition of any team looking for a quarterback. The question is, with so many needs on this team, can we afford to mortgage the draft for one player? We need a safety, an offensive lineman, a wide receiver with speed, and a defensive line depth at a minimum.
What would it take to land the first overall pick? If you go by the points value assigned draft picks, we would have to surrender our entire draft. That is not going to happen. I did some research, and it seems like one of two packages would suffice: our first, second, third of this year and first of next year, or our first, second, third, Raiders' third this year, and second next year.
Of these two options, I would say yes and pull the trigger on the first package for the following reasons: with two third round picks left, we could still hope to acquire a couple of impact players to address our needs this year, along with a franchise quarterback.
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