The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, which runs April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
It’s a chance for Cleveland’s management — led by owner Jimmy Haslam, general manager John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson — to make an emphatic statement that would put memories of an 0-16 season the rearview mirror. While the Browns are expected to spend the No. 1 pick on a franchise quarterback, Cleveland has five picks in the first two rounds.
It’s already an interesting quarterback room in the land where Elway and Peyton Manning set the standard while winning three Super Bowls between them. There’s an enigma in 2016 first-rounder Paxton Lynch, whom Elway traded up to draft but has been a major disappointment. Chad Kelly, a talented college QB at Ole Miss who has fought through recent injuries, also is on the roster after being drafted in the seventh round last year.
By all accounts, Keenum is a great teammate who won’t rock the boat no matter the outcome on draft day. But down deep, he’s got to believe he has graduated from his days of keeping the seat warm until he is replaced by the proverbial future franchise quarterback.
And returning to clipboard-holding duties in Denver after leading Minnesota to a division title and one step from the Super Bowl would be hard to take.
Still, Gronkowski’s potential absence from voluntary workouts doesn’t necessarily mean the All-Pro tight end intends to hang up his cleats quite yet. Rapoport reports that Gronkowski has trained this offseason at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center, and the expectation remains that he will play in 2018.
Gronkowski wouldn’t represent the only major absence from the Patriots ‘ offseason program, either. Tom Brady is currently on a trip to Qatar with his family and will miss the workouts in Foxborough.
While injuries have limited Gronkowski in recent years, he still ranks among the league’s most productive tight ends. He caught 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017 and leads all tight ends in receiving yardage (3,924) and touchdown receptions (34) since 2014. Gronkowski has earned first-team All-Pro honors five times in his career, most recently last season.