10:34am: The Browns have also looked into the possibility of trading up from No. 26 to ensure they have a shot at Bridgewater, according to Cabot (via Twitter).
10:00am: The Browns have three picks within the top 35 in this week’s draft, and while the focus has primarily been on their top pick (fourth overall), Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com has some details on the team’s targets at Nos. 26 and 35. According to Cabot, Browns GM Ray Farmer is “enamored with” Louisville signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater and will strongly consider him at 26th overall. Cabot also hears (Twitter link) that Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde is on the club’s radar at No. 35.
Despite many reports of Bridgewater’s falling stock, there’s no guarantee he’d be on the board when the Browns pick at No. 26, and the team’s pick at No. 4 should significantly affect the direction of that second first-round pick. According to Cabot (via Twitter), an ideal situation would have the Browns landing offensive tackle Greg Robinson fourth overall, Bridgewater 26th, and a receiver or Hyde 35th.
The Browns’ decisions could have a significant ripple effect on the rest of the first round, since the team has a few potential holes. The need for a quarterback and receiver could mean that players like Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, and Sammy Watkins are also in play for the team at fourth overall. Meanwhile, Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com suggested earlier today that a trade down from No. 4 is possible as well.
In my view, snagging Robinson and Bridgewater in the first round would be a nice haul for Cleveland, though I’d question whether 35th overall is a good spot to draft a running back, particularly when after the club added Ben Tate in free agency. I’m also not sure Robinson makes it past the Rams at No. 2, assuming St. Louis keeps its selection.