CLEVELAND – John Dorsey's patience is about to be tested as never before.
After having the No. 1 overall pick in the past two NFL drafts, the Browns — and their industrious general manager — will begin this year's as spectators.
They may not stay that way.
Dorsey, who has spent the past 16 months overhauling Cleveland's roster and reawakening "the sleeping giant" as he likes to call the Browns, doesn't currently have a first-round pick after trading it to the New York Giants in the stunning megadeal for superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
The No. 17 pick was part of the package in March required to land Beckham, whose arrival in Cleveland and pairing with quarterback Baker Mayfield has Browns fans convinced a Super Bowl trip is near.
Normally, it would be unnerving for a rebuilding team not to have a first-round pick. Dorsey, though, has lessened the urgency by transforming the Browns from a 0-16 team in 2017 into a 7-8-1 squad last season and potentially the AFC North's favorite this season.
That's not to say this isn't an important draft as Dorsey, who previously helped rebuild Kansas City into the contender it is today, can plug holes and build depth. And if he feels there's a player he can't live without, Dorsey said he'd be willing to move back into the first round.
"If I deem it will help the Cleveland Browns, surely I will do that if it helps the organization moving forward, but the compensation on the back end cannot be outrageous," Dorsey said last week. "It has to work on both sides."
But would he be willing to give up a significant amount?
"If a certain player is there that I deem that the value fits the player, yes," he said.
Barring a trade, Cleveland's first pick won't be until No. 49 (midway through the second round) and Dorsey has seven others to continue a makeover few expected would yield such positive results this early.
Dorsey's choice of Mayfield last year took many experts by surprise, but it proved to be a savvy selection as the dynamic quarterback set an NFL rookie record with 27 touchdown passes.
The key now is adding more quality players to help Mayfield, get the Browns back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and maybe get them to their first Super Bowl.
The last time Cleveland entered the draft without a first-round pick was 2008. A year earlier, the Browns traded their '08 first-round pick along with a second-rounder in '07 to Dallas in order to move up and select quarterback Brady Quinn at No. 22.