NFL Draft: If the Browns Select Allen, Expect Giants to Take Darnold

According to Peter King of SI’s MMQB, the Cleveland Browns may be leaning towards selecting Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the first overall pick in this month’s NFL Draft.

What would an April MMQB be without another draft rumor?! This friend of Cleveland GM John Dorsey believes he’ll go Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen over Sam Darnold with the first overall pick, keep the fourth pick, and take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. “I would be surprised if he traded down,” FOD told me. “This would be his chance to take his two offensive cornerstones for the next eight or 10 years.” The most interesting thing there? That FOD thinks Dorsey will not trade. I think that’s great. Cleveland’s been very good at trading and stockpiling, and not very good at drafting, in the last few years. I hope Dorsey’s more about the (relatively) sure things instead of Cleveland leading the league in draft picks.

This would leave USC QB Sam Darnold for the Giants to take with the No. 2 pick. It does more than just that. Since Darnold is rumored to be the only QB in this class the Giants are considering using this selection on, it makes the pick more valuable in any trade talks since it is known they are serious about Darnold.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has not tipped his hand as of yet, but it is suspected that he covets Darnold over the other QBs. The Giants actually like several players who they think will be “gold jacket” material. Darnold is one. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley, DE Bradley Chubb of NC State and OL Quentin Nelson of Notre Dame are the others.

If the Browns select Darnold or trade the pick to another team that does, it is widely projected the Giants will either take one of the other three players, most likely Barkley.

“Have we had calls (from teams seeking to acquire the pick)? Yes,” Gettleman said last week at the league meetings. “But we haven’t set our board yet. It’s about when you’re drafting, when you’re signing unrestricted free agents, it’s all about value, it really, truly is. … This is the second pick in the draft. We really have to picture this guy putting on a gold jacket because if we can’t picture that …”

No matter what, the Giants are going to be coming out of the draft with a better team than the one they went in with. They have six selections as of right now: the second pick in each of the first three rounds, and additional third rounder they received from Tampa Bay in the Jason Pierre-Paul trade, and a selection in each of the fourth and fifth rounds.

The prospect of Cleveland passing on Darnold is too enticing for Gettleman. Darnold is arguably the best prospect of this QB class. He is big, smart and mobile and comes from a top program. Gettleman has to take him. Drafting Darnold secures the Giants’ future and with a quarterback guru such as Pat Shurmur as the head coach, it’s a match made in football heaven.

Darnold will sit behind Eli Manning for a year, maybe two, here in New York and then battle Davis Webb for the starting QB job, a battle by all accounts he should be able to win.

I have repeatedly railed against the Giants taking quarterback in this draft, but if they do,  it should only be Darnold. This scenario allows for that to happen. Franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees. Ask any NFL GM who has lost his job because he couldn’t find one.

Yes, I would love Barkley or Chubb but this is a QB league. If the Browns screw up here, the Giants cannot make the same mistake. Allen is too raw and I don’t think Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield are fits for the Giants. Leave them for the Jets…

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