If this plays out, it should bother nobody.
The Browns would wind up with a talented quarterback of their choosing, and a very talented defensive back who can play corner or safety.
The Browns are in a unique position, holding the No. 1 pick and having their choice of two excellent options with the fourth. They wind up in a good position regardless.
Take it in order.
McShay continues to make Darnold the first pick. It makes sense. He has size, arm strength, the ability to move and the ability to read the field.
His turnovers (21 fumbles in 27 games) must be examined, and the Browns will exercise their due diligence.
“You got to see where that’s coming from,” coach Hue Jackson said at the combine. “Is it because the guy is not protecting the ball? Maybe somebody is hitting him on the arm. Maybe it’s his grip. There could be a lot of different reasons why those things are happening. But again, as you just mentioned, it’s something we have to find out about.”
“The No. 1 priority of a quarterback is to protect the football,” Darnold told the media in Indianapolis. “I’m aware of that and I’m aware of how much I turn the ball over, and it’s not OK.”
Darnold said he’s been working on protecting the ball in the offseason, but true results won’t show until practices.
If Darnold isn’t the first pick, I believe it will be Mel Kiper's pick for the Browns in his latest mock draft: Josh Allen of Wyoming.
Allen impressed at the combine, according to all reports, especially with his arm strength. This shouldn’t be a surprise, though. Allen has a rocket arm, and throwing against no opposition should raise some eyebrows.
The key with Allen is whether he can play, and the folks who believe in him gush. There have even been comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger, which if true would make his selection a no-brainer. The Browns will continue to study him and delve into his 56 percent completion rate. There is some thinking that Allen is talented enough to improve his completion percentage with coaching, system adjustments and better players around him. With a few checkdowns and fewer drops, 56 percent can jump to 60.
However, the Browns saw 52 percent last season from quarterback DeShone Kizer, so they will want to know all they can about Allen before deciding he’s the guy.
Joe Thomas told ESPN Cleveland Tuesday night that he believes a consensus is growing in the organization that Darnold is the choice, but the team won’t be sure about that until it sees him throw. Darnold chose not to throw at the combine, which was probably a mistake.
With the fourth pick, the Browns likely will have their choice of Fitzpatrick or running back Saquon Barkley -- with pass-rusher Bradley Chubb a long shot. Any of those picks would fit. Barkley can run and catch and block; he’d be an instant fit with Duke Johnson. However, there are other backs the Browns will be able to draft in the second round, which might tilt things toward Fitzpatrick.
The idea of adding Fitzpatrick at safety to pair with Jabrill Peppers is more than appealing. Fitzpatrick could play the deep middle in Gregg Williams’ system and Peppers could move closer to the line of scrimmage, where he belongs.
Adding Fitzpatrick would be even more appealing if the Browns could also add a cornerback such as Trumaine Johnson in free agency. The Browns fixed the run defense last season. An improved secondary would, in theory, take a large step toward fixing the pass defense.
Boil the Browns' draft down to the basics and the team is in an advantageous position. It will wind up with two excellent players among the first four picks, then will have four more picks through No. 65.
This is the draft the Browns pointed to in their rebuild -- clearly for good reason.