Though the chatter on Draft Twitter seems to indicate that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield will be the top pick in the draft, there’s still a fair amount of uncertainty about what the Browns will do at No. 1. With that in mind, we asked several former scouts what they would do. Here’s what they told us:

Jeff Bauer (Jets): “Obviously, there is not a consensus of who the best QB is, if you should take the sure thing in (Penn State OH Saquon) Barkley, or even the best DE in (N.C. State DE Bradley) Chubb. Here is what I know: without a high-caliber QB, it is very unlikely you will win a Super Bowl. There have been exceptions, but you can count those times on one hand. Now, which QB? Do you draft the least ideal physical specimen who won more than the other ‘physically preferred QBs?’ That is what every GM, coach, owner is asking today who has a top 10 pick. For my money, you have to go with your gut on who is the smartest, best leader type that will win games. (Seahawks QB) Russell Wilson and (Saints QB) Drew Brees have proven you do not have to be 6’4 to win championships. I have not sat in a room for hours with these QBs like the guys making the decisions today have, but I would think when it comes time for me to turn in that card, it is going to be the guy they felt best about with leadership, smarts, and resilience to come back from mistakes.”

Danton Barto (Rams): “I would take Barkley the RB and grab the QB with the 4th.”

Ryan Hollern (Saints, Bills): “Has to be a quarterback. It’s a quarterback/head coach-driven league. You need to have a franchise guy in the building. Plus, they pick the guy they want from this talented class.”

Bruce Kebric (Raiders): “I would take the best player (Barkley) unless my team was a talented one.  An excellent running back can take a lot of pressure off of a quarterback, particularly an inexperienced one who the Browns can select at No. 4. I always use my experience of what Earl Campbell did for the Oilers and Dan Pastorini.  Of recent note is Dallas with Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott.”

Matt Manocherian (Browns, Saints): “It depends on how you feel about the quarterbacks, and since I’m not 100 percent in love with any of them, I would try to trade out and hope to land Chubb at 4. He’s my favorite player in the draft, and I’d feel comfortable taking him at 1 if I couldn’t get good trade value. If you love one of the QBs, that has to be your move. For me, I like Mayfield and Rosen over the other top prospects. And even though I now often get pegged as an ‘analytics’ guy, I’m not in the camp that’s vehemently opposed to taking Barkley high. He’s a good football player who changed Penn State’s offense as soon as he saw the field, he creates matchups, and he has obvious value on all four downs. I wouldn’t want a team in my division to draft him.”

Bob Morris (49ers, Browns): “The consensus best player in the draft is Barkley from Penn State. I would take him with the first pick if I did not have a consensus on which QB is the best. Browns can still come back and get one of top 3 QBs at #4. The RB will help, whoever is the QB.”

Josh Washburn (Redskins): “As far as Cleveland goes, they’re in a pretty good spot. I would look into trading down. They’re still in a good position at #4 to get a pretty good player whether it be their franchise QB or someone else to make them better. Plus, they’d pick up more picks to go with their surplus in the first two rounds and help recover some of what they lost by picking up (WO Jarvis) Landry and (QB Tyrod) Taylor.”

 

 

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