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Are the Browns Trying to Leverage the Offensive Tackle Market?

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors are running rampant about what the Cleveland Browns will do with the No. 8 overall pick of the draft. One of the latest rumors comes from the reliable Tony Pauline of Draft Insider, who says the team could have an interest in offensive tackle Jack Conklin:

I'm told [Conklin] is being considered as an option for the Browns with the eighth pick. The team desperately needs a right tackle, and they met with Conklin extensively during Michigan State's pro day.

Unless the name is Laramy Tunsil, landing an offensive lineman at No. 8 overall probably wouldn't be the biggest crowd-pleaser among Browns fans, especially after they just let a promising young right tackle walk in free agency with Mitchell Schwartz. Another possibility here is that the Browns could be trying to leverage the offensive tackle market, just like they did with the quarterback market already.

Tunsil, once thought to be the certain No. 1 overall pick of the draft to the Titans, now might not even be viewed as the top offensive tackle. His his pre-draft press conference the other day, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network compared Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley, and how teams are viewing the two tackles:

"There's been some Ronnie Stanley momentum amongst the top-10 teams as far as even over Laremy Tunsil. I think the conversation is that Tunsil might be a little bit more -- might be a better athlete today, but Stanley is a better run blocker, and his feet are really close. So my point is as an evaluation, they're very, very close, and Stanley has got no off-the-field issues."

Mayock also talked about the Titans' interest in still drafting an offensive tackle and how they could trade up if either Tunsil or Stanley are available. If both of them are gone, they might even want to jump the Giants (at No. 10 overall) to take Conklin:

The nice thing for the Titans is they have so many picks right now that if they did want to get back up, and I use the example of either Stanley or Tunsil sliding down into that seven, eight, nine range, I think Tennessee could get back up there and get them.

But if that's not what they want to do, if they sit at 15, whether or not Conklin is there, the Giants at 10 could be looking at Conklin. He's become a hot name in the last month or so. If he was there at 15, I think that would be a win. He could start at right tackle day one and you'd have bookend tackles, and I think Mariota would be very happy. If Conklin was there, I think that's a huge win, and then the next guy in line is Taylor Decker, and he could very well be in play for Tennessee at 15.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report is also hearing that three offensive tackles could be coveted in the Top-10, including Conklin...I just hope the Browns aren't one of those teams at No. 8.