On Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN appeared on the Ross Tucker Podcast to talk about the top picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. A summary of what he had to say is below.
- If the draft were today, Schefter says the Rams would take QB Jared Goff. However, they want to be thorough and evaluate it, so it's within the realm of possibility that they discover something that would lean them toward QB Carson Wentz instead. The benefit of trading up to No. 1 overall is that they can really put both quarterbacks through the test now, knowing that no other team can jump them and take the guy they decide they like the most. He uses the year that the 49ers took QB Alex Smith as an example, saying they were going to take QB Aaron Rodgers, but changed their mind a week before the draft.
- Schefter caught everyone off guard with his response about Cleveland having decided already that they are not thinking quarterback at No. 2, but instead are selling that quarterback to the highest bidder. Here is a transcript on what he said about the Browns:
"Even before this trade was being made, I was of the understanding that Cleveland was not going quarterback. That was my firm and distinct impression and intel. Now if that is accurate, and I believe it is, then I think this trade is a good thing for Cleveland. Now, Cleveland is sitting in that second hole. If any other team wants a quarterback, and there are teams who want that other quarterback, they have to come to Cleveland, and Cleveland gets to name that price.
To me, I think the trade added to Cleveland's leverage because I don't think they intended to take a quarterback. They as an organization have new people, a new approach, a new perspective, and they have so many holes to fill. I don't think their perspective was, 'let's get a quarterback to play with all these holes and get his confidence trampled on right out of the box.' They've got RGIII, they feel good about RGIII, there's a connection between Hue Jackson and RGIII. The goal is to build all of the pieces on the team and then go get a quarterback."
- Lastly, Schefter said that San Francisco and Philadelphia are the most likely to trade with the Browns, but the New York Jets would like to try too but they are further behind in draft position. If the Jets try to use Mohamed Wilkerson to move up, he doesn't think the Browns are interested because they are not looking to add a big contract right now and instead want to focus on adding new talent with cheap contracts.
What Schefter did not address is when the Browns changed their mind. As of late-March, after the Browns signed RGIII, he said that the team's plan was to still draft a quarterback at No. 2 overall:
Signing RGIII not expected to have any impact on what Cleveland does in draft.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2016
A QB still expected to be the pick.
You can listen to the full interview below; Schefter does not come in until the final 15 minutes or so.