Who Should The Browns Take Fourth Overall?

Who Should The Browns Take Fourth Overall?

Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick?

At this point in the year, most football minds have their attention focused on free agency and the draft. As crazy and incredible as free agency can be, my real interest lies on the college players who will find themselves getting paid millions of dollars this April. More specifically, which of those college athletes will be on the Browns.

With the first and fourth picks in the NFL draft, there is no shortage of possibilities for the Browns. Assuming the Browns get one of the many quarterbacks who will be available come free agency, it's my opinion that they should still use their first pick on a quarterback. A quarterback at number one is almost a foregone conclusion by now. The fourth pick, on the other hand, is still very much a mystery.

Even though you'll have the odd analyst every once in a while who will mock a QB at 4 or even Bradley Chubb, for the most part, it's believed that the Browns will select either Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick. With Jabrill Peppers playing out of position for much of last season and the perception that Isaiah Crowell will not return to the Browns, free safety and running back with certainly be positions of need for the Browns.

Despite that, each player and position come with their own drawbacks. For starters, neither position is typically considered valuable enough to be taken so early in the draft. The average NFL running back has a rather brief shelf life, and their usage can vary considerably depending on the offense and skillset of the back. With free safety, even the best at the position ultimately won't make a huge impact in each game, thus decreasing the overall value at the position. So that leaves the question of who should the Browns select.

Fitzpatrick is an Alabama FS/CB prospect with pro comparisons to Seattle's Earl Thomas. Minkah has done it all for Bama. Originally playing corner, he made the move to free safety after Eddie Jackson broke his leg two seasons ago.

After investing a first-round pick in a strong safety last season and then proceeding to play him almost exclusively at free safety, drafting Minkah would be like completing the puzzle for the Browns defense. With Myles Garret and Ogbah healthy plus a healthy linebacking core with Peppers in the box and Minkah playing centerfield, that's a scary image for opposing quarterbacks, especially with potential changes coming to defensive pass interference rules.

Another possibility that comes with Minkah is his ability to play corner. Minkah could move back to corner for the Browns, which makes the cornerback room rather crowded. My suggestion would be for Jason McCourty to then transition to free safety, a move that is not unheard of. With McCourty aging, his experience and skill set might be more help at the safety spot. Minkah allows for plenty of versatility.

Saquon Barkley is hardly an unknown name. He has been a fun player to watch since his freshman season at Penn State and is often thought of as the most talented player in the entire draft. The issue some have with that claim is that a running back in today's NFL can be so easily found relative to other positions. It seems that nearly every good value running back is available in the later rounds because they are so moldable to a gameplan.

Another issue with Barkley at four is how deep this class of running backs is perceived to be. With the plethora of picks the Browns hold, would it make sense to use a high pick on a position that has similar value at a lesser cost? The answer to that question would ultimately lie on a scouts grade on Barkley and how the drafter values the position.

Historically, John Dorsey hasn't selected a running back so highly. Kareem Hunt was drafted in the third round just last season by Dorsey. Dorsey is no stranger to finding a playmaker in late rounds, and I doubt he would change his philosophy on the Browns when it has been so successful in the past for him. Barkley would have to have shown hall of fame potential for Dorsey to use that pick on him.

So who is the pick? Minkah choice makes plenty of sense to me. After investing so much into our defense, it almost seems silly to leave the final piece of the puzzle on the board. With Minkah, our defense can grow together under a few more seasons with Williams calling the shots. Along with a couple of scheme changes, we might even have a Jacksonville caliber defense in a season or two. That being said, the Browns offense was embarrassing last season.

Going under the assumption the Browns will have a shiny new quarterback next season, Saquon is the perfect complement to a young quarterback while also being able to take some pressure off Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum, should he wear the orange and brown in 2018. After seeing the effect a quality running back like Elliott, Gurley, and Fournette can have for an offense and a young quarterback, Barkley seems like the perfect answer.

Rosen/Darnold/Cousins/Mayfield throwing to Coleman, Gordon, Njoku, Johnson, and possibly another WR in the draft with Barkley churning out yards on the ground sounds like the offense Cleveland has been yearning for since their return to Cleveland. Free safety is likely a position that can be more easily handled in the coming years, should the need remain, while a true game altering running back is rather difficult to come by. If it were up to me, Saquon is the pick.

I hope that this article was interesting to those of you who made it this far. With the draft and combine coming up, this part of the year is my favorite aside from the actual season. It is my hope for these coming weeks to continue to give my insight on the future NFL players, along with those who will soon be available in free agency. With roughly a dozen picks and over 110 million dollars in cap room, the Browns with their revamped front office should make some team-altering decisions in the coming months that I am supremely excited to see. Forever the optimist, I know. Such is life as a Cleveland Browns fan.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To High School Athletes In Their Senior Season

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

As I’m sure you know senior year is an exciting time. You’re the “big dogs”, as my teachers would put it, of the whole school. This is the year you are able to do all the things you’ve waited for the past three years. You can sleep in every morning because you don’t have class until nine or leave school early because you don’t have a last hour class. It’s great, right? Right.

However, this year, although it’s arguably the best year of high school, could also be the hardest. No, not hard because of classes or homework or actually having to decide on a college. Hard because it’s full of lasts. Last Homecoming, last spirit week, last Sadie’s, last school pictures, last musical.

And for many, the last time you’ll wear that jersey.

Of all the lasts that will happen this year, that has to be toughest one. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that will continue playing your chosen sport into college. Congratulations if that’s the case for you and I hope you continue playing as long as you can.

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

When you started as a freshman four years ago, you might have had little clue what the coming years would bring. As all freshmen do, you dreamed of making varsity and playing in every game, or earning as many medals as you could. The possibilities were endless.

Now here you are, in your senior year. Maybe you’ve won a state title or two. Maybe you’ve set new school records. Maybe even state records. No matter the case you’ve played your heart out for the past four years on the field and court. You’ve woken up at five in the morning for workouts and practices. And you’ve stayed until ten at night trying to get every play in the book fixed into your brain. You’ve spent your Friday nights under those nights no matter what the weather was like, rain or snow. You’ve spent your Saturdays at volleyball tournaments and your Sundays resting knowing that Monday’s practice would be a rough one. You’ve missed nearly a whole day of school for track meets or games that were just that far away.

You have had tan lines like crazy from your tennis uniform. Softball and baseball players have one hand darker then the other and golfers have legs three shades lighter than their arms. If you were like me you'd complain about how bad your tan lines looked in homecoming pictures (thank you tennis).

It never seems like it's your last year until senior night comes along. At least that's when it hit me. Then the next thing you know the season is over and you're handing in the uniform you've had the past couple of years.

So when you go to hand in that jersey or uniform remember the last four years. I hope you remember all the bus rides to and from games laughing with your teammates. The team dinners before games and the banquets to celebrate the season. All those early morning practices you dreaded until your coach came walking in with a box of doughnuts. All the games, win or lose, rain or shine, windy or hot. All the bruises and cuts you got that seemed to take ages to go away. Every practice you had to run extra for having too many fouls or turnovers. The pep rally’s for the first game of the season. The way you felt when you made that three, scored on a serve, caught that pass, or won that medal.

Because that chapter is or is almost over. The past four years you have been an athlete, I hope you showed it in every way. One day you won’t be an athlete anymore, so take this time to enjoy it and play with every ounce of passion you can.

Cover Image Credit: Rebekkah Wamser

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Here's What I Learned Going To A Gun Range

First of all, remember to put on earmuffs.

Over Spring Break, my roommate and I decided to try out a couple of activities we've never done before. We decided to visit the gun range to experience something that is very present in our lives. Coming from a country where private ownership of guns is largely outlawed, I first encountered a drawn gun during the USC Fertitta shooter scare of 2017.

Even so, I can say that I am 'familiar' with guns, and by that, I mean it's everywhere-- in movies, video games, and other media. Branding a gun looks so effortless when the hero of the movie jumps in to save the day, but knowing that real life is never like the movies, I wanted to experience what shooting a gun is truly like.

I started to sweat profusely the moment I entered the gun club lobby. All sorts of guns were hanging on the walls, and the sounds coming from the range were LOUD. After getting our gun (AK-47), ammunition, and protective gear, we headed to the range-- WITHOUT OUR EARMUFFS ON.

It was such a common sense thing to do, but our nerves got the best of us. My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when that shot went off, and my ears were ringing for about a minute.

It took us a while to gather ourselves and make sure everything was on. The first thing that hit me when I first entered the room was the smell. I guess that's what they meant in novels when they describe the smell of gunpowder.

Then, it was time to shoot.

What I was most afraid of was the kickback, because I hear about people getting hurt from the force. But when I pulled the trigger, the thing that made me jump was the sound-- not the smell or the kickback. The sound wasn't only loud, but very distinct and punctuated-- it took me by surprise even though I was expecting it.

After a couple of rounds, and lots of pictures, we were done.

It was a learning experience; I had never held such a powerful weapon in my hand, and I went in knowing that it's not a toy that you hold and look cool in.

I would definitely do it again.

Cover Image Credit: freephotos.cc

Related Content

Facebook Comments