What will the team do with its first pick? Also, how long will the ‘championship window’ remain open?
CLEVELAND — Time now for a special draft week edition of “Hey Jimmy.” You’ve been sending us your Browns questions, and I’m here to answer them for you.
Hey Jimmy: Do you think the Browns will use their extra third and fourth-round picks along with their first-round pick to move up in the draft? – Mike in Hudson
The Browns have two picks in the third round, two picks in the fourth round. Here’s the strategy: I’d don’t think they’d go way up in the first round, but if they target a player who they really like and he’s not too far away, they could go a couple of picks up from No. 26. That’s when they would probably use the extra third and fourth-round picks, which would be an aggressive move.
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But remember, third and fourth-round picks did well for the Browns last year when they hung in and made the selections. They ended up with two great players in Jordan Elliot and Jacob Phillips in the third round before getting a classic tight end candidate in Harrison Bryant in the fourth round. We’ll see what they do with those picks (they have nine in all).
Hey Jimmy: Baker just signed for his fifth-year option. What are the chances he becomes our Drew Brees or Tom Brady and sticks around for a majority of his career? – Logan in Wickliffe
Wow… Drew Brees? Tom Brady? That’s a high-point for Baker Mayfield to get to.
Here’s the plan: They picked up his fifth-year option, and the next step would be a long-term deal. That could happen maybe in July, just before training camp. Maybe it goes into next season, maybe it comes at the end of this season, but no later than that.
It will be a long-term deal because he’s their long-term quarterback. They love what they saw from him last year, he’s being coached well, he’s got a great cast around him. He’s our guy, and we can only hope he’s like Brees and Brady.
Hey Jimmy: Realistically, how long do you think our “window” is for a championship? – Josh in North Olmsted
There’s a new theory in the NFL: When you have a young quarterback (as the Browns do) and you have him on his rookie contract (as Baker still is), the window is open to win the championship right now. We have two more years left to go on Mayfield’s rookie deal.
This is how it worked in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes, and at one point with Joe Flacco in Baltimore. Why I say it’s so important that you do it during his rookie contract? Because once they sign him to a huge contract, the Browns won’t have that much money to spend on free agents or to keep current players whose contracts are expiring here in Cleveland.
We are wide open with the championship window right now. That’s why you see the Browns really going for it this year.