If I were John Dorsey...

Jeff Phelps shares some advice with the Browns GM

Jeff Phelps
April 02, 2018 - 2:10 pm
Dec 17, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey walks onto the field before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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If I were Browns General Manager John Dorsey, I’d…..

- Use the #1 pick in the draft on Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.  Or USC quarterback Sam Darnold.  But I’d go with the guy who has what the scouts call the highest ceiling (code for most potential, greatest upside, guy who could be the best-of-the-bunch) - and that’s Allen.  We’ve all heard the discussions about his accuracy issues in college.  But you don’t draft a guy based mainly on what he did in college, although that’s part of the equation.  You draft a guy based on what you think he’ll become in the NFL.  

- Ignore the folks who are comparing Allen to, well, all kinds of different guys.  Allen is not Brett Favre.  He’s not Andrew Luck.  Or Ben Roethlisberger.  Or Brandon Weeden (Go find any video of Weeden ever moving, ever throwing on the run, as well as Allen.   Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Forever.  Because you won’t find any).  Allen may have similarities to other quarterbacks, but he must be evaluated on his own merits, with his own particular set of circumstances being all that's considered.  

- Ask Hue Jackson his thoughts on all the quarterbacks under consideration to be the Browns pick in the draft.  Take that info and let it simmer for a while.  And then I’d put Hue’s thoughts in the back of my head, and move ahead with my own evaluation of the quarterbacks.  If my evaluations coincide with Hue’s, swell.  And if they don’t, well then Hue’s out of luck. He’ll be grooming the guy I think should be the #1 pick.  Despite Hue’s abilities as an offensive coach, there’s no way I let anyone make, or even significantly influence, the most important pick of my career.  Especially a coach whose record in Cleveland is 1-31.

- Make sure I come out of the draft with two young quarterbacks.  In other words, draft two quarterbacks.  There are five guys who are generally considered to the top QBs in the draft - Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson.  But there are more than a few other quarterbacks in this draft who have been highly thought of at some point - Mason Rudolph, Mike White, Luke Falk, Kyle Lauletta, Logan Woodside.  Heck, CBS Sports actually has Rudolph ranked as the #1 guy.  Who’s to say that one of the other quarterbacks won’t become the next Kirk Cousins?  If one of those guys is still available when the Browns use pick #114 in the 4th round, I’d be very tempted to call his name.

- Listen to offers for the 4th overall pick.  Especially if I get a call from the team picking 5th, the Denver Broncos.  The Broncos only call the Browns if they plan to draft a quarterback, and want to make sure they stay ahead of Buffalo, Arizona and others at the quarterback trough.  Because of that, a trade with Denver is a no-brainer.  At #5, I can still get my guy.  Who might that be???  Keep reading.

- Come out of the first round with at least my franchise quarterback, and either Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb.  Both are the top guys at their position.  Both will be big-time guys in the NFL.    Don’t trade down so far that I miss out on both.  And if both are available, draft Chubb - the defensive lineman.  Why???  Chubb and Myles Garrett together give me a defensive end tandem that will scare opposing offenses.  For years.  And I can still……

- Draft a running back somewhere in the 2nd round, if Saquon Barkley is not the guy at #4.  There are a number of highly regarded running backs in this draft.  Get one.  Carlos Hyde is just fine when healthy, but the 49ers were so enamored with Hyde that they let him walk and gave wacky money to Jerrick McKinnon.  So draft the highest running back on my board in the 2nd round.

- Trust my draft board.  Trust the Green Bay Way that I was a part of for years, along with my guys Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf.  Build through the draft by taking the top guy available - at least after I get my quarterback in the first round and my running back in the first or second.

- Be on the lookout for teams that are light at QB, and could be just one injury away from needing Tyrod Taylor to come to the rescue.  Tyrod didn’t come cheap (3rd round pick), although he could have had I been a little patient. Nobody’s perfect, I guess.  Oh well.  Anyway, Tyrod's under contract for a year.  Drew Stanton is under contract for two-years.  If some team is in big trouble before the trade deadline, and I can turn Tyrod and a late round pick into a 2nd round pick, why not?  I can play Stanton while the first round QB stays on the bench.  An unlikely scenario, but one that I should really consider if it presents itself.

- Make sure I keep Hue Jackson out of Todd Haley’s way.  Let’s be honest — which guy has a better track record as an offensive coordinator? Haley was brought to Cleveland for a reason.  Let him do his job, his way.

- Find a starting left tackle, sooner rather than later.  Either draft one high, decide I already have my starter on the roster, or trade a draft choice or choices for a guy on another team.  Solidify the line as soon as possible.

- Buy a condo, not a house.  Guessing I’ll be way too busy to mow the lawn for the next several years.  Just pay the condo association fee and be done with it.