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Mayock: Cowboys, Browns, Chargers could strike for QB in draft

The situations are different, but the compelling need could be the same.

And with quarterback being the most important position on the field, the timing could be right for the Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys to invest a high first-round draft choice in the position, according to NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock.

"If you're looking for a quarterback in that top 10, (picks) two, three and four have got to be locked in," Mayock said on Saturday during the NFL Network's broadcast of the Reese's Senior Bowl. "Two with Cleveland, three with San Diego. Philip Rivers is one of my favorites of all-time, but remember they took Rivers when they had (Drew) Brees. And No. 4, Dallas has got to be looking, also."

The Browns, of course, have continuously misfired drafting quarterbacks for decades, and new coach Hue Jackson could be looking to correct that just two years after the club chose troubled, high-maintenance quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round. While the Browns are looking to fill a gaping void, the Cowboys and Chargers would merely be looking to soften the eventual departures of the aging Rivers and, for the Cowboys, Tony Romo.

"I look at Dallas at No. 4 and as much you love Tony Romo, three years in a row he's not been able to play 16 games," Mayock said. "He's 36 years old. At what point -- you're not going to be drafting that high again -- at what point do you pull the trigger? San Diego, same thing. Cleveland's got to get a quarterback. Philadelphia's sitting there at (pick) No. 13 saying 'My guy might not get to me anymore.'"

Whether any quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft merits a top-five pick is a slightly different question.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah rates North Dakota State's Carson Wentz as the top quarterback in the draft, and the No. 7 overall prospect. He did nothing to worsen that standing during Senior Bowl week. Cal's Jared Goff and Memphis' Paxton Lynch are also strong first-round possibilities at the position.

"There aren't 12 franchise quarterbacks in the whole league," Mayock said. "If you can draft one, you have to."

And the sooner, the better.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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