There have been rumblings for months that the Cleveland Browns could be prepared to select Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 1 pick Thursday instead of Myles Garrett, but they picked up a lot of steam Wednesday night.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel predicted it in his mock draft and the most famous NFL draft prognosticator of them all, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., joined him Thursday morning in his final mock draft.
“How’s this for a curveball to begin the night?” Kiper wrote. “The thinking is the Browns get antsy about Trubisky being available at No. 12 and don’t find any takers to trade up. Could Cleveland ownership get involved and insist on a QB here? Remember, the Browns passed on Carson Wentz last year and really need a franchise-changer at the position. Myles Garrett is my No. 1-ranked prospect.”
Garrett has dominated the top of mock drafts ever since he announced he would enter the 2017 NFL draft, but the Browns are very much in need of a quarterback with Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler currently set to duel for the starting role.
With Trubisky going No. 1, Kiper instead projects that Garrett lands in the No. 2 slot to San Francisco.
“The 49ers might run to the podium if Garrett is available here, assuming they can’t find any takers who want to trade up to take Garrett,” Kiper wrote. “He is a brilliant, natural pass-rusher with elite size and athleticism.
With the NFL draft hours away, the overwhelming majority of mock drafts still project Garrett will be the No. 1 pick, but it no longer looks like a sure thing. There may be enough Trubisky smoke to pull the fire alarm.