So far, we’ve gone the general route with “need” versus “best player available.” And while we have decided that the Browns have to err on the side of the player, we aren’t quite sure who exactly that player is. Today, we discuss a third option: trading down…
Scott: Assume the same hypothetical from yesterday, but with the tertiary option of trading down. A team is willing to match the infamous point scale and the Browns believe they can move down and still obtain value.
That said, how far are you willing to move down in the first round to ensure that the Orange and Brown land a play-maker?
Kirk: If the right trade value is there, I would be willing to drop down into the 12-15 range. At that point, I might try to grab Da’Quan Bowers or one of the other quality defensive ends that should still be available.
DP: They certainly can’t move down as far as they did in 2009. While I like Alex Mack, there is much more talent in the top half of this year’s first round, and to pass it up simply to load up on lower-round picks isn’t something the Browns can afford to do.
TD: I am wildly against trading a high pick in next year’s draft for one this year. Remember Kellen Winslow? Brady Quinn? How did those turn out? I know it’s a new regime, but unless they can get someone like Robert Quinn or Nick Fairley at 12, not a chance I make the move.
Kirk: I agree with TD. To pull that off, it has to be an absolute home run with someone who was supposed to go in the top-five or top-six falling to the 12 spot. If we are doing this for Julio Jones or Ryan Kerrigan, I’m not sold. This team has to be extremely cautious in giving up any picks because that’s why we got Tom Heckert – to draft and draft well.
TD: On the flip side, this team has so many holes and maybe filling two of them right away is intriguing. But, as Kirk said, they simply cannot afford to miss.
Craig: Devil’s advocate here, but if this season has enabled the Browns to spend more time looking at prospects rather than messing with free agency because of the labor situation, then why not load up this year? The arguments against the Browns getting another first-rounder this year seem to be because Phil Savage drafted Brady Quinn.
While this may seem logical at first, there really is no logic at all. All you’re saying is that Savage and the Browns got the wrong guy. The risk quotient isn’t really all that different, especially if the Browns think they will make a significant jump in quality on the field with the 21st most difficult schedule.
Scott: I don’t think Savage/Quinn bothers people as much as Mangini/Veikune/Massaquoi where the team had a top-five selection and then left with a center (admittedly not a sexy pick despite talent level) and a “linebacker” who is no longer with the team. That said, either is enough to garner a few upset stomachs.
TD: With the amount of holes the Browns have, I don’t think it’s a bad strategy, but maybe it’s just the Cleveland in me that has me leery of the move. As I said before, they MUST hit on all picks or it’s a major setback.
Craig: The Browns must hit on every pick, but why put 364 daus between them if you don’t have to?
TD: I hear you, but think about how different we felt in September of 2007 and then in September of 2008.
Kirk: Piggybacking off of TD, this team, even with two first-round picks, is not going to be good enough (in my eyes) to get out of the top 12-14 in next year’s draft without some serious free agent acquisitions.
And I agree, Scott. If Quinn had worked out, Savage looks like a genius. For the rest of my life, I will wonder what was running through Eric Mangini’s head with the Veikune pick.
Scott: You mean aside from Veikune’s “motor” and all-around jovial personality?
Steering things back on track, do selections in next year’s draft entice you at all or do the Browns purely need to add picks in this year’s extravaganza?
Kirk: I’m open to picks next year, but I will say that it’s quite a buzzkill if they trade away their first-round pick this year for one next year. I think the fan base and front office is looking for someone that will add to the young core of Joe Haden, TJ Ward, Joe Thomas, Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis. Moving out of the sixth spot severely reduces the likelihood of this.
Andrew: I agree with this sentiment. I think the Browns have such a talent deficiency that I would favor stockpiling picks this year over next. But in general, I don’t see a need to get too cute or creative with this. Just make your picks when you have them, be smart about who you select and don’t make this more complicated than it already is.
Bowers: Kirk’s use of the term buzzkill in regard to trading down is pretty accurate here. I think the fans want – and the team needs – a stud in the first round. If you can get a great value for moving to the eighth or ninth pick, then maybe. But I’d rather they just stay where they are and get a top-six talent.
Unless they want to trade back to 15 or so and draft my cousin Da’Quan. I’d be cool with that.
TD: Maybe it’s a contradiction, but you can’t sell this year’s high picks for something next year when the Browns are in dire need of help now. Defensive line, linebacker, wide receiver, etc. They need this all this year, not next.
Andrew: I think with a new coach, a new system and so many unknowns with regard to the lockout, there is just no way to know how good the Browns will be next year and where that first-round pick will be. To me, there’s not enough information to make an informed decision, so I would favor sitting tight with the picks they have and not get too crazy loading up on picks at the expense of either this season or next.
Craig: Back to the original question, I am not interested in moving down this year. If they can move down a couple of spots for a team desperate enough, I’m okay with it, but I would not want to move out of the top ten. Also, the Browns would really have to hold somebody hostage for me to be happy about it.
Andrew: Yeah, if Julio Jones is the guy they want, and he’ll be there at 10, I’d be okay if they slid down to seven or eight. But really, what are you going to get in return for moving down two spots? Probably not enough to risk not getting the guy you want.
DP: Second-round pick. Sincerely, Butch Davis.