Tampa Bay Buccaneers: How the Browns could impact Tampa Bay in 2018
While Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were busy celebrating the re-signing of wide receiver Mike Evans, the Cleveland Browns were busy giving their entire team a face-lift.
Now, with Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry added to the Browns’ roster for 2018, the potential they have of significantly impacting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ draft class just increased ten-fold.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to cause a panic or anything, so please don’t take this for more than it is.
A certain host of a very popular Bucs podcast hates mock drafts. Well, I’m not mock drafting, but I am about to drop some mock scenarios. All of them involving draft targets Tampa Bay fans have been eyeing.
Browns Trade with Buffalo Bills
So, given the sudden boost to their offense, the Browns could now choose to double-down on their Buffalo acquisitions, and trade one of their two Top-5 selections for the pair of late first-rounders currently residing in upstate New York.
This move would actually benefit the Bucs in some ways as the Bills are highly unlikely to move up to the first or fourth pick for anything but a quarterback.
As we all know, the more quarterbacks we see taken between picks one through six, the better.
However, there has been a growing population within the Bucs’ fan base which has called for a trade back themselves to get both of the Bills’ first-round picks.
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If Buffalo is trading both their firsts to move up, I’m sure they’d prefer a Top-5 pick over a Top-10 pick. Even if it does cost another late-round token.
Browns Deal with Bucs Great, and Screws the Bucs
Adding key players like Taylor and Landry give the Browns franchise even more room to be flexible when it comes to the draft.
There are more players worthy of top picks than quarterbacks. A lot of them are on defense. Guys like Bradley Chubb, Derwin James, and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all talented players in positions not widely considered as desperate needs for Cleveland.
Not that they wouldn’t benefit from one of them, they might feel like they can add some value by getting a Denzel Ward type player a little later while stockpiling picks.
This is where John Lynch may come into play.
If Bradley Chubb is still on the board when the Browns come on the clock with the fourth overall pick, then we could very well see the former Buccaneers safety leap frog Jason Licht and taking the consensus best pass rusher in the class.
San Francisco finished near the bottom of the league in sacks last season – as did Tampa – so they may see the value in adding Chubb while trading up five spots to get him. Of course, that’s if he makes it past Indianapolis at number three.
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1st Pick: Browns select running back, Saquon Barkley
4th Pick: Browns select offensive lineman, Quenton Nelson
What if the Browns don’t trade out of either pick?
This is honestly the one I see happening, and the one which damns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at number seven the most.
Taylor is getting paid $16 Million in 2018. I doubt the Browns brought on that salary to ride the bench. I still think Cleveland drafts a quarterback, but think more Lamar Jackson, not Josh Rosen.
If a late first round or early second round quarterback is what Cleveland is targeting, then it makes all the sense in the world for them to take Penn State’s stud running back with the first overall pick.
Heck, they may even pull a Lynch a-la-2017 and trade back with the New York Giants, add another pick late and still get Barkley.
Then, with the fourth overall pick, the Browns continue their offensive assault and draft the best lineman in the class. Quenton Nelson.
Seeing Barkley leave the green room would sting a little for fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Seeing Nelson leave might make some straight up call for Jason Licht’s job. I mean, how could he possibly keep his job after letting the Browns pick Nelson?
The point is, this would hurt. If we mock this out – Sorry, Brent – then the Colts likely take Bradley Chubb and depending on what happens with Kirk Cousins, it’s very possible Minkah Fitzpatrick goes to the Jets or Broncos.
Florida State fans would of course flood Twitter with a stream of Derwin James predictions, which wouldn’t be a bad pick of course. It just wouldn’t be Chubb or Nelson.
"Locked on Bucs recaps some of the weeks’ trade activity and more!"
It was almost a sure thing the Browns were going to dump an early first-round pick into a quarterback this year, and thus start the rush on early pick quarterbacks.
That scenario played out perfectly for fans of Tampa. Now, with the newly acquired pieces John Dorsey has brought on board, it looks more likely they aren’t aiming for a passer that early.
There are tons of other scenarios of course, but these three stuck out to me the most in the immediate aftermath of the recent trades and player movements.
Which do you see happening? Or do you have one of your own? The dominos have started falling. Will they land in the right place for the Bucs?