Potential of the Cleveland Browns’ Interest in Geno Smith

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns sent a representative to Geno Smith‘s pro day workout, and they are scheduled to hold a private workout with the West Virginia University quarterback. There are a few ways to assess these actions.

If another team thinks that the Browns will take Smith with the sixth pick, then they will try to trade above the Browns in order to get Smith. A team in the Browns’ position is not likely to trade away the opportunity to pick a quarterback that they like. When a trade from the number six position is discussed, we are talking about competition from the next three teams on the draft board, the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, as well as a team that picks earlier, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

If Geno Smith is the player the Browns want, then why tell everyone?

The Browns are not exactly telling anyone anything, it is just a fact of the draft process that there are few secrets. Browns team president Joe Banner and head coach Rob Chudzinski have made statements that could support anything happening with the quarterback position for the Browns. Perhaps the competition they plan on bringing in for Brandon Weeden is Geno Smith. This competition could also come from a field of quarterbacks that could only be acquired by trade with another team. Watching Smith could be the start of assessing the entire field of quarterbacks available in the 2013 NFL draft.

The Cardinals, Bills, and  Jets pick in the next three spots after the Browns.  Those teams are probably not giving up their first and second round pick to move up such a short distance. More than likely the teams would exchange first round picks, the Browns would add a 2013 third round pick in the deal, and maybe a second round pick in 2014. The Bills are most likely to give up the second round pick if they are desperate and believe that the Cardinals would take Smith before them. The Bills will be active in talks with all the teams above them, not just the Browns. Nothing has been said of the Jets interest in Smith, but maybe the team is just trying to keep that information quiet.

Would anyone be interested in watching the Jaguars select offensive tackles Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher with the number two pick, and then if Smith is available at six–trading the Browns the #33 pick, the #64 pick, and their first round pick in 2014, for the number six pick?  In this scenario, the Browns would own the #33, #64, #68 picks this year and two potentially high-to-mid first round picks in 2014. Would that outweigh trading down with the Cardinals, Bills or Jets in the other scenario?  Obviously such trades are easy to talk about, and in the meantime, fans on either end are left waiting to see what happens.

For the Browns, a potential trade down would occur in the moments after the number five pick is announced. If Smith makes it past the Philadelphia Eagles, you can be sure that the Detroit Lions phone will be ringing, especially if teams think the Browns are now interested in Smith.

The Browns have something of a big board ready. Dee Milliner will be high on their board, and if he goes anywhere in the top five, they will go to the next guy. Milliner is the only player still available at number six that would actually stop the Browns from trading the pick. If Milliner is gone by the time the Browns pick, then they will entertain trade offers no matter who is on the board. They may not end up trading the pick, even if Milliner has been selected, but teams like to hear any trade offers thrown their way.

The Browns could be trying to push Smith into the top 5 in order to increase the chances that the players they want actually fall to them. The quarterback position is always a position that alters the NFL draft. It is seemingly the easiest position to discuss in order to get talking heads stirred up, and generate trade talk among teams.


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