2018 NFL Draft Rumors: Cleveland Browns prefer Saquon Barkley at No. 4

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley /

The Cleveland Browns are locked in on a quarterback at No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns would prefer Saquon Barkley if he slides to No. 4.

The Cleveland Browns have a rare opportunity to execute a full-on rebuild in a matter of one offseason. With significant cap space and a vast number of draft picks, the Browns have already begun to capitalize on this grand opportunity.

With the 2018 NFL Draft on the horizon, the Browns appear to have two targets in sight—both of whom would transform the offense.

Cleveland has gone a long way towards solidifying the offense as a respectable unit. It acquired a pair of Pro Bowl players in quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Jarvis Landry, as well as a productive running back in Carlos Hyde.

According to Peter King of The MMQB, the Browns believe that quarterback Josh Allen and running back Saquon Barkley can be the long-term assets who bring the vision together.

This report guarantees nothing, but it’s a compelling revelation from one of the more respected individuals in the industry.

Having discussed Allen, it’s only right to turn our attention to Barkley. The No. 1 player on my personal big board, Barkley is a generational talent who has the potential to be one of the truly elite running backs in the NFL.

On the ground, Barkley has great vision when running up the gut and the necessary measure of athleticism to bounce outside the tackles.

Through the air, Barkley can make plays out of the flat or line up in the slot as a legitimate receiving option for any caliber of quarterback.

While there’s a working theory that the running back class is deep in 2018, Barkley holds a significant advantage over the rest of the field. He’s not only the best runner at the position, but the best receiver, as well.

For the Browns, adding a running back of Barkley’s caliber to an offense that already features Josh Gordon, Hyde, and Landry could lead to remarkable results.

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The question is: Will the Cleveland Browns actually be the franchise that helps Saquon Barkley realize his superstar potential?