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Saquon Barkley is NFL draft’s best player, so why would Browns pass on him at No. 1?

Saquon Barkley is NFL draft’s best player, so why would Browns pass on him at No. 1?

INDIANAPOLIS – The Cleveland Browns are on the clock for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The Browns are always on the clock. They’re on the clock for not making the playoffs since the 2002 season or winning a playoff game since the 1994 season. (Some guy named Bill Belichick was coaching). And they’re on the clock for never winning a Super Bowl in franchise history.

The Browns don’t do well on the clock, as franchise history persistently dictates. And with the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, it’s going to be fascinating to see if they can escape the specter of their tortured recent draft history.

The best all-around player in this NFL draft is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. One NFL scout told Yahoo Sports that Barkley is the best player – any position – to come out of college football in the past 10 years. Not just running back, which would make him a better prospect than Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott. Player. Period.

“Rare player,” the scout said. “Best I’ve seen [in the] past decade.”

The Browns being the Browns, they had chances to take rare players in the past two drafts. They traded out of the No. 2 slot in 2016, giving up a shot at Carson Wentz. Last year, they ignored two years of Deshaun Watson’s dazzling film and traded the No. 12 pick to let Houston take him.  Both Wentz and Watson, despite serious injuries, project as the next banner stars at the quarterback position in the NFL. It’s not too early to chalk those up as glaring mistakes.

[Watch on Yahoo: Live stream the 2018 NFL scouting combine on Yahoo Sports’ website, app]

General manager John Dorsey faces a vexing choice in his inaugural draft in Cleveland. There’s no player in this draft that’s scarier to pass on than Barkley. Trade the top pick or wait around until No. 4, and the latest hangover of regret will inevitably come soon.

The Browns need a quarterback, but there’s no perfect prospect at that position. No NFL front office has ever suffered collective remorse from not taking a guard. (Sorry, Quenton Nelson). With Myles Garrett already at one defensive end, there’s not a glaring need for the Browns to use either of their top picks on defensive end Bradley Chubb. (The Colts, lurking at No. 3, have already had their owner lobbying for the franchise to take a tailback – “an Edgerrin James type of player” – to complement Andrew Luck).

Could that be Barkley? He earned comparisons to Bo Jackson for

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