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Colts May Now Struggle to Remain in Barkley, Chubb Sweepstakes Due to Recent Moves

NCAA Football: South Carolina at North Carolina State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

John Dorsey is not waiting for the talent to organically come to him. The Cleveland Browns new GM is making moves to add talent from around the league while holding on to the team’s picks from the first two rounds. Just today the Browns have traded for Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry, Bills former quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Packers cornerback Damarious Randall.

So, how does just the transactions from today affect the possibilities for the Indianapolis Colts in the upcoming NFL Draft?

We’ve all seen that most fans are on ‘team trade back’ in recent weeks, but most of those hopes come with the understanding that they still want the Colts to land North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb in the process. Not everyone shares those sentiments, though, as there is a strong pack of fans who want the team to stand pat and take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley if he’s still available, with Chubb remaining the consolation prize.

These moves are making the likelihood of acquiring either of the perceived top talents in the field. First, we all know that Tyrod Taylor isn’t a franchise quarterback at this point in his career. He is, however, a very good bridge quarterback who can at least maintain quality play throughout the 2018 season. Additionally, with the team hooking Landry you give Taylor another weapon to bolster the offense that already hosts tight end David Njoku (29th overall selection in 2017 draft), Josh Gordon as well as Corey Coleman.

Granted, that group of pass catchers has a lot to overcome from recent years, but you can easily imagine the potential that exists when adding a competent quarterback and a receiver with Landry’s ceiling.

Now, however, this adds some intrigue into the path that the Browns will decide to take with their two first round picks. They very well may still — and really should if we’re being honest — grab a quarterback with one of their two top-4 picks in order to legitimately groom their next franchise quarterback. Drafting one of the top passers and allowing him to sit and learn for a season or two would make so much sense that we almost can’t even see it happening in Cleveland.

With Dorsey running the show, though, it appears that he is looking for the long term success as well as the short term bandaid to smooth the transition. Owning the first, and fourth overall selections definitely takes some of the pressure off of Dorsey to use one or the other on a quarterback.

The Browns do have a solid backfield right now, but nobody toting the ball there shares any resemblance to the talent that Saquon Barkley brings to the conversation. Grabbing Barkley at No. 1 would make life significantly easier on Taylor, and give the Browns offense a group of threats that they haven’t amassed in many years.

If that’s the case, could you really depend on the New York Giants — who pick at No. 2 — to pass on someone like Chubb? I don’t think so.

Conversely, what happens if the Browns decide to add Chubb with the first-overall selection to pair him with Myles Garrett to create a pass-rushing duo for the next decade? For my money, this makes it almost a guarantee that the Giants would happily scoop up Barkley at No. 2. The Colts then have little else to do other than trade back without getting at least one of two of the best impact players in the draft.

Yes, the Colts would likely attain a very good haul of picks in return, but wouldn’t be seeing a generational talent in Chubb or Barkley donning the horseshoe. Bittersweet, if you ask me, and heavy on the bitter.

The sweet, however, brings the possibility of not only a trade back, but multiple opportunities. The Browns may want to move up a pick to secure their quarterback, the Denver Broncos and New York Jets are still looking, and now the Bills hold 2 picks in each of the first three rounds as ammunition to get their quarterback of the future.

We search for answers this time of year, and all of this movement only yields more questions in a pivotal offseason for Chris Ballard and the Colts.