Browns could have a solution for Saints big issue after the NFL draft

Browns RT Jack Conklin rumors could pick up if he proves to be healthy. 

Browns RT Jack Conklin out for season with knee injury |

The NFL draft is right around the corner. The sad reality is that not every team is going to get their needs met during the draft. Some teams will see players they wanted snatched out right in front of them while others will decide to focus on best player available over team needs.

For the Cleveland Browns, a decision between “now or later” this year will be interesting with their six draft picks. The team only has two in the first four rounds which limits their options.

The Browns could also find trade action during or after the draft. CB Greg Newsome II isn’t worried about his name being in trade rumors but could help a team that misses on a quarterback. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson could help a team that doesn’t get their quarterback. We have a former rival in mind for DTR if a move is made.

GM Andrew Berry could also find a solution to his “too many starting offensive tackles” issue. While all will need to prove they are healthy, Jedrick Wills, Dawand Jones and Jack Conklin should all be starting somewhere in 2024.

Enter the New Orleans Saints.

Late last season, the Saints found out that starting RT Ryan Ramczyk’s future in the NFL was uncertain as he “has a cartilage defect in his knee”:

Ramczyk said that there is not a lot of cartilage left in the injured knee and that the wear and tear of playing in the NFL has taken its toll.

“This year it’s bugged me a little bit more than it has in the past,” he said. “At some point, I just couldn’t play anymore.”

The question around Ramczyk didn’t lead New Orleans to sign a replacement in free agency. Olisaemeka Udoh was signed but he’s played just 43 games since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2019 and a majority of those came at guard.

Landon Young would currently slot in as the Saints starting right tackle but he’s only had 488 snaps since 2021 after also being drafted in the sixth round.

That has led a majority of NFL mock drafts to look to the offensive line for New Orleans this year. As noted above, not everyone gets their needs met especially on Day 1 of the NFL draft.

If New Orleans can’t find a replacement for Ramczyk in the draft and Conklin shows he is healthy during OTAs in mid to late May, the Saints could come calling.

Timing is important unless Conklin agrees to a new contract or a different structure. Trading him now would cost Cleveland more cap space than it would to keep him. Trading him after June 1st, between the second and third OTA sessions, would save the team over $6 million on the salary cap.

Browns fans should keep a close eye on what the Saints due early in this year’s draft. If offensive tackle isn’t addressed in the first two rounds, Berry will have an option with one of his three starting offensive tackles. Wills is currently the starting left tackle while Jones is the young one of the group. That leaves Conklin as the most likely trade candidate among the three.

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