A few days after reports surfaced that Saquon Barkley was “in the mix” for the Cleveland Browns to pick him No. 1 overall, another domino fell in the direction of that.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Browns traded a third-round pick to acquire Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor:
Cleveland traded a third-round pick firnQB Tyrod Taylor, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2018
That means the Browns have a potential starting quarterback, which could put them out of the signal-caller market at No. 1. Various mock drafts have the likes of Barkley, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen coming off the board at No. 1 overall.
One would have to think that Friday’s development helps Barkley no matter what.
Even if the report about the Browns wanting the former Penn State star at No. 1 was just to entice the Giants into a trade, Cleveland now has even more leverage. They could tell the Giants that Taylor is their starting quarterback and that Barkley is their guy. Perhaps that pushes the Giants to move up to No. 1 to get Barkley.
Who knows that’s in store in the next seven weeks before the draft, but it certainly appears that Barkley has a legitimate chance to become the first running back to be selected first in the draft in the 21st century.
For what it’s worth, this is what the oddsmakers had Barkley’s No. 1 chances at before the Taylor trade.
Who will be taken first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft?
Saquon Barkley +150
Sam Darnold +200
Josh Allen +500
Baker Mayfield +650
Josh Rosen +800
Any Other Player +1500
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) March 9, 2018
It’s safe to say those odds will improve in a hurry.