Several draft day trade scenarios popping up for the Cleveland Browns


Sure, the Cleveland Browns have the fourth-overall pick in 2014 NFL Draft, but would it surprise anyone if that orange helmet disappears from the corner of the television without a pick having been made? While fans of the Orange and Brown debate the merits of playmakers versus offensive linemen, there’s a considerable chance that the fourth pick is made by a team other than the Browns as national pundits throughout the league peg Cleveland as a likely trade partner for teams looking to move up.

Take Sports Illustrated’s Peter King for example. In his MMQB mock draft, King delivers a few surprises (Khalil Mack at No. 1, for example) in addition to Cleveland moving down from No. 4 to No. 6 in a deal with the Atlanta Falcons who land South Carolina’s Jadaveon Clowney. The Browns, in turn, land Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, a compliment to Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon and another target for whomever is under center on Week 11, in addition to having seven of the draft’s top 110 picks. What fans may not love, however, is that the Browns appear to have only gained a third-round pick for the move.

In a scenario-based column from Grantland’s Bill Barnwell, the Browns traded with Mike Pettine’s former team, the Buffalo Bills, as he was officially able to sell his peers on Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. In Barnwell’s scenario, the Browns net a future first-round pick in addition to the 2014 pick they obtain in the deal, and move down to the No. 9 pick.

As previously noted, Cleveland already has the most valuable set of picks in this year’s draft, but the opportunity to move up and draft Watkins could inspire somebody to make an offer the Browns can’t refuse. The Bills reportedly have the hots for Watkins; if Buffalo offered Cleveland its 2015 first-round pick to move up from nine to four, I think the Browns would bite.

Pouring on, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says that the Bills and Detroit Lions have been pounding the phones in hopes of moving into the top five with Watkins  and North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron as their targets.2

Many fans (rightfully) despise moving down—the team is terrible enough to garner the fourth-best player in the draft, after all. The 2014 NFL Draft, however, appears to be one of the more undecipherable in recent memory. While there is a top tier of sorts, the first eight-to-twelve players could go in any order and few would bat an eye. If this is the case, and the Browns could muster another first-round pick for their efforts, would fans react negatively? More importantly, would Ray Farmer be willing to pull the strings on a deal in his first rodeo?

If trading down isn’t your thing, but trading up is, you’ll be glad to know that King also reports that the Browns are looking to acquire a third first-round pick in hopes of leapfrogging Houston to start Round 2. And if it’s any silver lining, both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper have Cleveland selecting Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel with the fourth-overall pick. Something for everyone!

  1. In King’s mock, Blake Bortles falls to Cleveland at No. 26—”As I made my calls in the past few days, I couldn’t find a Bortles lover.” []
  2. Rapoport also adds that “Cleveland scouts “like” Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, and the team could use the No. 26 selection on him,” so there’s that. []
  • Ezzie Goldish

    In short: GMs call one another to find out what they would pay/give up for various picks in case they wish to make a trade.

    Speculation: Browns would take Watkins, but if JAX grabs him, trading down two spots to get an extra third-rounder to grab Evans seems cool to me. And if they can still get Teddy at 26 (or a CB or G, then Teddy at 32), even better.

  • JNeids

    I would be willing to look past the small haul for #4 if the entire King mock played out for the Browns – Evans, Bortles, and Su’a-Filo?!? Just when I thought I was done with King, he ropes me back in Bill Simmons-style.

  • saggy

    couldn’t agree more.

    i still think the Browns end up with Bortles; somehow, some way.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Not a fan of Bortles, but seeing as how Teddy is still there, too, flip that one and I’d be ecstatic.

  • MrCleaveland

    Man, these pundits are bored.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    As much as I hate trading down it would seem to make sense but lets see what happens first at 1, 2 and 3.

  • Lunch
  • JNeids

    The Niners will trade #30 for #35 and a third rounder, but would accept a 4th rounder if we admit that we made up the rumors that Harbuagh wanted to come here.

  • Hopwin

    I just received word that the Browns are going to trade draft day lunches with the Seahawks. Something about the Browns higher-ups falling in love with fresh seafood and the Seahawks intently focused on Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

  • DoubleH

    Ebron is a TE, not an offensive lineman

  • Lunch
  • Ezzie Goldish

    91-0, especially. And no, it won’t.

  • RGB

    Ray is ready. He going to rule this draft. Those other GMs don’t know what’s coming…

    When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I’m here a week now… waiting for a mission… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

  • Harv 21

    sorry for beating this drum on so many threads, but today the Browns already own 7 picks in the first four rounds, probably too many to make the team. Trading down will therefore increase the GM’s draft day complexity – more moves to dump picks.

    Not saying it won’t happen, but: 1) If the goal is “Win Now”, I can see them dumping their extra third and fourth rounders to move UP a notch; 2) If they move down it might be wise to make any such move before the draft begins, giving themselves more time to talk to teams regarding the next trades. Yet teams may not want to do so without knowing who’s on the board at #4, and making Farmer’s necessary follow-up trade a less certain double-contingency. Hope it makes them appropriately nervous.

  • Harv 21

    I love you, man.

  • James Workman

    Peter Kings draft would be an A+ first round. Even with the weak value for moving down 2 spots.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Here’s the best scenario:

  • mgbode

    I understand that point, but I contend that in this particular draft I would much, much rather pick #8 and #16 then #4 and #26. I think we can move around enough to get something close to that scenario done without hurting our overall portfolio.

    Of course, I would also try to get back into the top50 for one more pick too.

  • Harv 21

    Guess this means you think the diff between 4 and 8 is much, much less than that between 16 and 26. I don’t agree – your chance of picking up a stud at 4 overall is great this year, and that is not always the case and the chance of getting one in the top 8 is lower. This is the year I want that #4 unless someone really blows them away.

  • mgbode

    yes, you read me correctly. I love Watkins, but also Evans. If both are gone, I think Gilbert is a shutdown CB.

    but, I think that the guys I really, really, really want will be gone by 26 (Ebron, Lee, Beckham, “Teddy if he falls”, etc.). so, if we want one of the potential elites, then we need to move up or we are going to have to settle for the next tier of guys.

    I understand you disagree, but it’s where I am at. Is it Thursday yet?

  • Harv 21

    hell, two days before the draft I disagree with myself every 2 minutes and can argue every position. Hate this, love this, hate this, love this, hatelovehatelovehatelovehatelovehatelovehatelove

  • Harv 21

    YOU FELL ASLEEP! IT’S MIDNIGHT FRIDAY!! I grade Farmer a B-, btw. Barely missed the “Draft Winners” category, seeing as the teams picking 3, 5 and 6 all picked up two franchise players each.

    uuugggghhh! Make. It. Stop.

  • mgbode
  • mgbode
  • CB Everett

    For giffing Garfield, you are hereby sentenced to 2 weeks without gif privileges! And may god have mercy on your soul.

  • mgbode

    oh, you want MORE Garfield? Why didn’t you just ask?

  • CB Everett

    Damn you, mgbode.
    Garfielded: the new Rick rolled.

  • mgbode

    so it was written, so it shall be done :)