The Cleveland Browns played musical chairs in the 1st round of the NFL Draft that included three trades. Lets see what they did and how they did it.
While Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins where still on the board, the Cleveland Browns sat pretty. Johnny Manziel was also still there at the fourth but the Browns decided to pass on those three guys and traded their spot to the Buffalo Bills. The moved from 4th to 9th while picking up an extra 1st and 4th rounder in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Browns weren’t done yet though, they also moved up from the 9th to 8th to make sure they got the guy they wanted. That guy turned out to be Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State. Although Gilbert is not known for his tackling abilities, his 4.37 40 time puts him in the elite speed category. Just under 6′ tall he has great leaping ability and great hands. In college he was a very good cover corner and with his speed and size the probability he will become the Browns lock down corner is pretty high. Alongside Joe Haden, the Browns seem to have found the corner they needed and opposing teams should find it difficult to throw on the outside.
Passing on to elite talents on the draft to drop down a few notches and pick up a couple of picks in next years draft to wind up with a top CB to pair with Joe Haden, gives them a grade of A-.
Eeven after two trades by the Browns in the first half of the draft, Cleveland wasn’t done. With a reportedly close deal with the Titans at 11th that fell through, the Browns just kept on looking for trade partners. A trade with the Eagles jumped the Browns ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs to the 22nd spot, giving up a 3rd rounder and the 26th pick. With that jump the Browns managed to seal the deal with Johnny Manziel, the guy that Jimmy Haslam was hoping for at pick number 4. Not sure how sold i am on this pick however as i feel that it was more of the owner trying to sell seats instead of a move by GM Ray Farmer. Manziel will clearly be a work in progress, but, he does come with a strong arm, mobility, and most importantly, above average ball accuracy. A lot of coaching up is in his future and most likely won’t start week one but, if Pettine can manage to drive home the message that he cannot rely on his feet in the NFL like he did in college, then there is a chance he will become a great player. Learning to read defenses and better pre and post snap routines as well as learning how to win with his arm instead of his feet will be his mantra.
Holding off selecting Manziel at 4th but moving up to 22nd gets them a grade of C.
I’m no big fan go Johnny “Football” Manziel, but the Browns do deserve credit for not overreaching for him with their first pick and at the same time being aggressive enough to trade up to get him later in the first round. Surely the Browns hope they have found their franchise quarterback. The pick i favor the most is Justin Gilbert as the Browns were able to fill a need and get the best player on the board and add some picks to next years draft to boot. Sure they could of gotten Watkins or Mack and got elite talent there but getting a quality cover corner they needed was the best possible scenario. Over all grade: B