The Browns are loading up on future draft picks, to such an extent that they think they might end up with the equivalent of two full drafts in 2017.
By trading down from No. 2 to No. 8, and then again from No. 8 to No. 15, the Browns acquired the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2017 and the Titans’ second-round pick in 2017. The Browns also have the Eagles’ second-round pick in 2018. Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta said after the first round that they love what they’re set up to do in next year’s draft.
“It is nice to space them out a little bit so they’re not all in one year so you’re not banking everything one particular draft class,” DePodesta said. “As we sit here now, we have extra picks in 2017 and 2018, and in fact in 2017, I think we have two firsts, two seconds and we may end up with two thirds, a couple of fourths. We literally may have, in effect, two drafts next year within the first four rounds at least. Then, we also have an extra second rounder in 2018.”
By suggesting the Browns could end up with extra third- and fourth-round picks, DePodesta may be indicating that the Browns are open for business with tonight’s first pick. Cleveland might trade down in the second round tonight and pick up a third-round pick next year.
DePodesta did acknowledge, of course, that all those picks are only valuable if you use them to draft good players.
“Look, we may use those picks to move up in the draft or do other things with,” DePodesta said. “It’s certainly a good position to be in. The most important thing at the end of the day is getting the players we want to get and the players we think are going to make a difference here.”
The Browns have already made a difference in one respect: They control the 2017 draft.