I have been adamant about trading down in the draft since before last year’s NFL draft. Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, and Gerard Warren will have that effect on you. The Browns successfully traded down last year and selected Alex Mack. You can argue that the Browns didn’t get enough for dropping all those spots, but they did end up with a solid center with potential. The Browns also saved a boatload of money from Mark Sanchez down to Alex Mack. And while the returns on Mark Sanchez appear to still be somewhat promising for Jets fans, you still have to admit that it should be easier to project a center as an NFL player than it is a quarterback. Certainly Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Tim Couch would agree.
So now that we are looking toward the 2010 NFL draft, I was all prepared to spout off about how the Browns should consider trading down again. I am definitely excited by the prospects of getting a difference-making defensive player in the draft, but at what cost? The Browns are picking 7th in what could be the last draft class that doesn’t have to participate in a rookie wage scale. Lucky us! I guess my natural inclination to trade down was at least in line with the top brass around the league.
It was reported that all of the top four teams in the draft would like to move down. That means the Rams, Lions, Bucs and Redskins all could potentially be shopping their picks. Add in the new report that the Jags are also looking to move out of the 10-spot and it means that supply could easily outmatch demand in the marketplace for top ten picks. Therefore, I don’t think I can support the concept of trading down this season. Sure, no matter what the Browns trade for, they would save salary dollars by trading down. Then again, if they are truly looking to draft a defensive difference maker, then I think they have improved their chances of success dramatically. Yes, I know Gerard Warren is a defensive player.
It stinks that the Browns might have one of the last really expensive draft picks in the history of the NFL draft assuming the NFL fixes this problem. Then again, it just means we will get some first-hand experience seeing the skills and abilities of our new front office when the pressure is at its highest. The Browns can’t miss on this draft pick. Given that, it will be interesting to see how safe or ballsy they go.