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Maybe the Browns really should consider trading down: While We’re Waiting

February is my birth month, but it’s a boring boring sports month. The NFL’s done. The NBA is slogging its way to the All-Star break. Pitchers and catchers report, but there’s not much to say about it after a momentary celebration of what’s to come. College basketball is heating up, but with a tournament like March Madness, it can only get so hot. And here we are pushing that rock up the hill just the same. Let’s push it together, shall we?

Have I told you about Patreon? I have? OK then. I’ll just say Patreon and we’ll get on with the program.

Bill Barnwell and reconsidering the possibility of a Browns trade-down

Bill Barnwell is one of the NFL opinions I value most in the media. He never really flies off the handle, and even when I disagree with him, I can see where he’s coming from. In his latest for ESPN, he makes a case for five moves each of the AFC North teams should make. I was totally with him. He suggests franchising Terrelle Pryor, which is fine, although I hope the Browns can get him on a deal that works for both sides. He recommends the Browns use free agency to build the lines of scrimmage and also sign Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is a nice step forward, but doesn’t preclude the Browns from using a high draft pick on a QB. That’s all logic I can easily abide. Then, he suggests trading down from the first overall pick if the Browns get “even a moderate ransom.”

Ugh. I read the headline and that’s all that I could think was, “ugh.” Of course, in the history of the Browns, there’s no great draft strategy that you can point to and say, “See? Just do that!” However, the trade-down scenarios are especially galling to Browns fans. There’s no Julio Jones, or Sammy Watkins on the Browns’ roster. Instead the Browns have the ghosts of Phil Taylor, Justin Gilbert, Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel to show for all their wondrous trades. There’s so much pressure to JUST PICK THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYER AT THE SPOT WE EARNED WITH OUR MISERY AND TEARS.

Alas, I kept reading Barnwell’s logical post. That’s when he smashed me over the head with a kind of painful logic that has you re-think everything you thought you thought about trading down in 2017.

Non QB Firsts

This is when I start talking myself into trading out of the first overall pick. If the Browns can get a ransom, and if they can manage to not screw up the picks with another Justin Gilbert / Johnny Manziel kind of draft, it would be just fine to trade down. Myles Garrett is probably going to be great, but the Browns do need lots of pieces. If they can still end up drafting two first rounders this year, plus a second rounder who is a veritable first with the 33rd pick, I guess I have to be in favor of it.

The draft strategy is to take the best player available and I’m quite positive the Browns don’t have a Myles Garrett in their roster of players, but it isn’t like they don’t have a lot of young names. Emmanuel Ogbah is going to be starting his second year. Same with Carl Nassib. Nate Orchard, Xavier Cooper and Danny Shelton are all starting their third years. Of all players on the defensive front including defensive tackles, defensive ends and linebackers, the Cleveland Browns only have two players in their sixth season, and we’re talking about DeMario Davis and Tank Carder. Again, none of this is to say that the Browns couldn’t use a potential all-time level of pass-rusher, which is obviously the idea if you draft Myles Garrett first overall. It’s just to say that good long-term draft strategy involves spreading out risk and maximizing value.

It’s a bit of a kick to the teeth to consider, but the Browns’ inability to execute a good strategy is no different than their inability to run the West Coast offense or make either the 3-4 or 4-3 work. It’s not the fault of the system, per se. It’s the fault of the people enacting the system. These are the actors we have, and you have to assume they might know what they’re doing, and kicking dirt on a good strategy won’t make them better. So maybe the Browns should consider a trade down?

I can’t believe I’m even saying it, but I think Bill Barnwell might have talked me into it.

I’ve started playing Rocket League!

Look, I’m not good at this game and I enjoy playing it with my son, but I looked it up online and there are people who play this game at a completely different level. This is probably more like the future of sports than anything else I’ve seen. I mean, it won’t look like this, but this is on the right track. People will be able to relate to this kind of scoring and combining it with driving ability.

And on top of it, you might have noticed that there hasn’t been a lot of soccer zen lately. That’s because the clips are usually spiked off the internet by the time this post goes live every week. You know what happens when you take your digital media rights that seriously? I post stuff that isn’t locked down.

You can’t win in the long run by making your product harder for people to access. Don’t do that.

  • mgbode

    Counterpoint:

    Character
    http://waitingfornextyear.com/2017/02/myles-garrett-dallas-cowboys-cleveland-browns-video/

    Talent
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2652678-why-myles-garrett-is-a-better-nfl-draft-prospect-than-jadeveon-clowney

    When you have an elite player who is far above the other players in the draft, then you should take him. You should not pass Go, you should not collect $200. You should buy Boardwalk and smile that smile knowing that no matter what else happens in the draft, you pulled an ace on the first draw.

  • jpftribe

    Saw this last night, so funny because it’s so true….
    https://twitter.com/Frye17/status/832423349703819265

  • Shane

    That’s great!

  • humboldt

    [Sees Browns draft talk on WFNY]

    http://i.imgur.com/0BA7N6H.gif

  • humboldt
  • Hopwin

    If the Browns trade down, do they get another pass for a year on evaluating the HBT’s ability to select talent?

  • Hopwin

    If the Browns trade down, do they get another pass for a year on evaluating the HBT’s ability to select talent?

  • mgbode

    Hey, don’t worry. In a short 2.5 months, the draft will happen and we can shift to talking about how bad the Browns are going to be until sometime in September when we shift to the 2018 NFL Draft.

  • mgbode

    Hey, don’t worry. In a short 2.5 months, the draft will happen and we can shift to talking about how bad the Browns are going to be until sometime in September when we shift to the 2018 NFL Draft.

  • RGB
  • RGB
  • mgbode

    If they pass up on Garrett, then I would start to truly question that ability.

  • mgbode

    If they pass up on Garrett, then I would start to truly question that ability.

  • jpftribe

    I’ve said it before, don’t try and draw four of a kind when you are dealt a full house.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WCFUGCOLLU

  • Allen P

    Arguments against trading down should not be predicated upon “BUT JOHNNY/WEEDEN/GILBERT!!!!” Those are indicitave of poor talent evaluation, not bad draft strategy. If you have good talent evaluation, then you combine that with draft strategy to (wait for it) maximize the value of your draft, particularly if you can fleece another team with poor talent evaluation to give up too much value.

  • RGB
  • RGB

    Start?

  • Allen P

    Sure, and if you’ve evaluated his talent correctly and he’s head-shoulders above the rest, then there you go.
    BTW, all monopoly nerds know that Boardwalk is a low-return property 🙂

  • mgbode

    the article I posted there was before 2016 season where he improved upon his weaknesses despite playing on a bad ankle for the month of October

    he is the goods.

  • mgbode

    Yeah, 2016 draft wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t amazing. Coupled with the veteran purge it left us with almost nothing to bank on.

    Top 3 rounds last year
    C.Coleman – glimpses of talent, needs to refine. Joe showed how QBs were doing him no favors.

    E.Ogbah – really like him especially as 2nd DE, not primary (enter Garrett)

    C.Nassib – 3rd round guy who should be rotation DE. that’s fine.

    S.Coleman – no idea due to no snaps. a whiff thus far.

    C.Kessler – value pick. getting your backup QB in the 3rd round is good value.

  • mgbode

    if you have a bunch of guys bunched together, then sure. i do not believe that to be the case and that is not factored into Barnwell’s table above.

  • Jaker

    UGH is right…. Look, there is a possibility where a trade down works, as I have often applauded these trade downs, so I get it. But we have plenty of pieces already to surround the elite talent, which MYLES GARRETT is. He’s got the body, the production, the skillset and the character. And if everything works out, he will be the centerpiece of our defense for a very long time.

    Enoughing effing around. Let’s take the best player in the draft and be happy with it.

  • Jaker

    Not this year! This year is episode IV… A New Hope

    (photoshopping Myles Garrett over Luke Skywalker’s face)

  • Pat Leonard

    I’m still reeling from being blocked by Barnwell on Twitter. WHAT DID I DO??? WHYYYYYY???

  • RGB
  • Pat Leonard
  • humboldt

    Turns out the Browns draft is actually the most insidious “industrial complex” facing our country today

  • humboldt

    Remind me: which side of the good v. evil fight are we on?
    https://media.giphy.com/media/gut3g2GTNUviU/giphy.gif

  • Allen P

    Sure – I was not being specific to this draft, just in general that our crappy previous drafts in no way reflect what “good draft strategy” means or that trading down is bad, period.

  • RGB

    Sashi is perilously close to being photoshopped on to Jar Jar Binks…

  • mgbode

    Emperor Palpatine controlled both sides, so…

  • Hopwin

    Aren’t most backup QBs acquired as washed up Free Agents? Oh wait that is our philosophy for acquiring our starting quarterback!

  • mgbode

    Yes, and I would agree. For this particular draft, I do believe Garrett is that much further ahead of everyone else.

  • Hopwin

    Haha look at Joe Banner thinking he has a job next year!

  • mgbode

    I love that his agent thinks the NFL needs to tell him no. Hey, it’s “invite-only” and you don’t have an invite. Security will block you at the door though Kelly can observe the combine now if he buys a ticket.

  • mgbode

    To your original question, good teams tend to draft their backup QBs though the washed up starter is another route. We’ll see what happens at starter. I agree with Barnwell that Taylor makes the most sense.

  • maxfnmloans

    you too huh? Hes pretty thin skinned apparently. Im pretty sure I was blocked because I said he was defending some of the choices made by Lombardi because Lombardi had a relationship with Grantland/SImmons

  • jpftribe

    TB2, I’ll take one for the team here.

    That was episode I. Sashi now has the deathstar plans from Darth Haslam. Although a more accurate title would be the Not So New Hope.

  • NankirPhelge

    Quality > quantity.

  • jpftribe

    Actually, based on that I would make the argument of trading up. Browns need quality, not quantity. If your confident in your talent eval, you have the first pick. If you can trade up from 12 or 33 to get your premier guy(s), do it.

    Fleecing another team is a fallacy. There’s just not that big of a gap in talent evaluation. Teams make out when they have considerable leverage, like Eagles and Vikings with Bradford and Bridgewater.

  • RGB
  • Hopwin
  • NankirPhelge

    Quality > quantity. You beat me to it, brother.

  • NankirPhelge

    WE NEED TO TRADE DWON AND THEN TAKE MYLEZ WIHT THE TWEVT PICK!!!!

  • woofersus

    It’s so hard to know in year 1 what you have, but I agree that if you’re willing to be hopeful that Coleman can be a good WR I don’t think you can call the 2016 draft all that awful – especially when they went out of their way to defer better value to 2017. I think Nassib was misplaced in the defensive scheme last year. I think he’ll be better. Also, out of all that volume of picks there are a couple of guys from mid-rounds that look like they may be able to develop in to competent starter-level players.

  • mgbode

    developing players has not been our forte, hopefully that changes

  • JM85

    Trading down rarely works out for them. Don’t try to be the smartest guy in the room.

  • Hopwin
  • Jaker

    developing players is one of Hue’s fortes. The fact that Shurms/Mangini/Pettine/Chud/etc and their staffs weren’t able to do so shouldn’t have anything to do with Hue and his staff. As long as he’s given a long enough leash, his shortcomings will have nothing to do with our history.

    I understand what you meant and sorry I “went there”, but one of the things that bother me the most is when regimes deal with the crap that the previous regime is responsible for. I can’t help myself, its the one thing I must defend lol

  • Jaker

    Taylor, Kessler and a mid round pick would make me pleased for this year. Sounds like Dobbs and Webb are gunna be possible targets