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Browns possibly begin to lay foundation for trading down

The Browns have their eye on LSU RB Leonard Fournette and could trade away the No. 1 pick to get him.

By all appearances, Myles Garrett doesn’t have to worry about the Browns passing over him with the first pick in the draft. He should instead worry (some would say “hope”) that the Browns trade the pick to a better team, with the better team taking Garrett.

A trade down would fit with Cleveland’s current obsession to have as many baskets as possible for carrying their eggs. And the best play would entail trading down and claiming that the guy they select at a lower spot is the guy they would have taken all along.

Which is perhaps the only way to explain the claim from Jason La Canfora of CBS that running back Leonard Fournette is “in play” for the No. 1 overall pick. Surely, he’s not. But he’s perhaps in play to be picked at a lower spot by the Browns, who would then be able to credibly claim they would have taken him at No. 1 if they trade down and draft him later.

For that reason alone, the Browns should say nothing about what they plan to do with the No. 1 pick until they do it. A trade down would be perceived by fans and media as a coup if the Browns can credibly take the position that whoever they’d get later is the guy they wanted right out of the gates.

So Fournette is in play. As is pretty much any of the guys who will be taken in the top 10, in the event the Browns trade down but stay in the top 10.