Browns keep laying the foundation for a trade down

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It started with a leak that running back Leonard Fournette is “in play” for the first overall pick in the draft. It continues with a leak that the Browns are torn between two other players: pass rusher Myles Garrett and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (pictured).

The latest nugget comes from Adam Schefter of ESPN, who reported that Cleveland hasn’t made up its mind between Garrett and Trubisky not long after tweeting that an unnamed NFL executive told him not to be surprised if Garrett isn’t the top pick.

The game here is simple and clear: Cast a wide net as to what the Browns could do with the top pick so that if/when they trade down and take someone in a lower spot, they can claim that’s the guy they would have taken at No. 1.

The bigger question is whether the Browns can get the deal they want to trade out of the top spot. It requires one team to fall sufficiently in love with a guy who otherwise would be gone by the time that team picks to make the right offer. For the Brown, who seem to value the promise of a future pick more than exercising a current pick, the interest in trading down is becoming more and more clear.

79 responses to “Browns keep laying the foundation for a trade down

  1. The Browns are adamant about making this draft a “cluster”. But that’s great, shaking up the draft will make it interesting and have some players fall unexpectedly.

  2. Cleveland will keep the #1 pick. But who’s going to take a trade of Cleveland’s #12 pick in the first round and one of the Browns second round picks?
    Can it be Cleveland drafts #1 as well as #2, back to back, picks?

  3. #1 overall pick and 2nd round pick in 2017. And a 1st and 2nd in 2018 for Gronk and Jimmy G.

    You can say that is too much…but we all know the Browns will screw up 3 of those 4 draft picks if they keep them.

  4. I think this whole “they can claim that’s the guy they would have taken at No. 1” theory is nonsense. However, I do see the Browns trying to create a smokescreen of uncertainty regarding the 1st pick, which is really only necessary if they are trying to lure somebody into a trade. So the conclusion here is probably still accurate.

  5. The other 31 teams are not gonna bite. They are confidant Cleveland will do something stupid. I used to feel bad for them but now they are just a sad joke in a pathetic way, like a tiolet humor.

  6. They always have to be the smartest guy in the room. Them “outsmarting” everyone else and trading down all the time got them to where they are now (see the Julio Jones trade). It’s good on paper, but you have to hit on the picks, which they haven’t been able to do, regardless of regime/front office. Just make the pick and live with it.

  7. Seems like the only legitimate shot of building through the draft is starting by picking defense. Look at all the teams that have become relevant or won SB in the last 5 years.

    So it makes sense the Browns trade down for door #2

  8. Don’t overcomplicate this! It’s all just posturing that is being done to enable the one outcome Cleveland has always preferred more than the EXCELLENT (to Cleveland) option of taking Garrett: not just a trade-down, but a trade-down for a king’s ransom. ALL the rest, including noise about taking Trubinsky or Fournette, IS A SMOKESCREEN intended to spook a team who wants either player into paying up big time in a trade-up.

    Cleveland doesn’t want to “trade down”. It wants a bounty of picks. And to do that, it needs to get teams to be a little desperate.

  9. Please no. Good teams actually try to pick good people when they are available. If you do this you will lose fans. We’ve had enough.

  10. LOL…Trubisky will be there at #12, and even the Browns favorite first round QB drafting spot, #22. I wish I could bet on it. Wait, Vegas is taking bets on the draft now! I’m on my way there now!

  11. I’m confused, how are the Browns laying the foundation for trading down if all they have is unnamed/anonymous sources. Fact is these so-called NFL insiders have no clue as to what The Browns plans are so they throw out wild rumors hoping they stick.

  12. They should take Garrett and not look back. Mitchell T is going to be a bust. Garrett is the most sure bet in the draft at the second-most important position.

  13. or the NFL media is trying to create some excitement in a draft that is otherwise pretty mild compared to years past. Especially since the Browns have said they will not trade the #1 pick (not to mention if that pick was able to be had the Patriots would have it already) and this speculation is not logical whatsoever based on the report that’s being referenced. They already have 2 picks in round one which defeats the purpose of the trade down if they actually want multiple players in that top spot as the reports are saying. If anything that means they’d package picks and trade UP from 12. back into the top 5 to get both guys they covet, not purposely let one or both go to another team via a trade down.

    You trade down when you don’t want someone with the pick you have, not when you can’t decide between two you do want.

  14. This is delusional. It started with Mary Kay Cabot in Cleveland and now Schefter has become infected with it. There is absolutely no way any team — including the quarterback starved Browns — would draft a guy with 13 college starts at #1 overall. No way. Period.

  15. i figured we would trade down again
    too GET ANOTHER 1ST IN 2017 get more 2nd and 3rd round puck in 2017 and get another 1st,2nd.34d or even 4th for 2018
    just as jimmy johnson has said gotta hit on those picks asap

  16. Browns passing on an elite pass rusher in the same tier as Clowney and Mario Williams when they came out? A year after deciding to trade down instead of drafting Carson Wenz? Just so they can have more picks they seemingly waste anyway?

    Can’t make this stuff up. I hope they pass on Garrett and we see him torment them for the years to come ala Randy Moss vs the Cowboys.

  17. All of this reading about them trading down and/or not taking Garrett first overall, yet they’ll end up not trading down and taking Garrett after all.

  18. Although I do like Garrett a lot, I do wonder what Cleveland values more as a franchise.

    They know that Garrett alone does not make them a contender, so I wonder if trading down and taking Fournette and let’s say Watson at 12 at least makes them exciting to watch on offense.

    Thus, creating a sort of buzz and intrigue in their games which are so horrid on offense as much as on defense.

    Just spit-balling here.

  19. They should trade down. Build a roster that fits the coaches style and actually build a team and not just draft QBs. They should trade down and not draft a qb till next year and just fill the rest of the team up with young guys who will have a little experience for next year when they do draft a qb

  20. Picks don’t win NFL games — excellent players. If given the chance to draft a transformational talent like Garrett, do it! Don’t be cute/stupid the way previous (and now unemployed) Browns regimes were. Go for the gold!

  21. I’m not from Cleveland nor do I care for the Browns

    However, I’ve thought about them and what they should do and it’s ironic I see similar rumors now.

    They should still draft Fournette with the 1st pick. Then draft the best available QB with the 12th pick.

    If they could trade out of the 1st and still aquire these players then even better.

    With that offensive line with Thomas and the guys they acquired it would be extremely smart to go the direction I’m suggesting. QB, RB, OLine. That’s the foundation of their future.

  22. Dont worry, the Browns will go Browns and mess it up

    I can see Mel w the hair going all crazy about how they are the Browns and this happens every yr.

    Yada yada yada

  23. Not this train again! You can only get so many picks! Sooner or later the money ball guys in Berea are going to have to pull the trigger and pick someone. I remember one year (forget the draft) where we moved,and then did it again and again. We had a top ten pick I’m pretty sure that year. Find your horse, back it and roll with it! Go Browns!

  24. While their is no difference of opinion on Garrett’s athleticism, there is considerable difference of opinion as to how much of an impact player he will be in the NFL.

  25. It’s because Trubisky is freaking awesome.

    All the talk about there ‘not being a qb worth a top pick’ has simply been regurgitated since September, before Trubisky showed what he can do.

    Then the draft pundits endlessly consume each other’s reports so that a horrendous group think builds; by the time the draft approaches most scouting is mainly backwash.

    No he hasn’t worked under center but he has quick feet and good balance, you’d expect him to learn it.

    Why didn’t he start last year? There’s no other way to say it, there is a very good chance his coach is a dope. His numbers from 2015 are ridiculously good: he completed 85% of his passes for 11.8 yards per pass.

    He repeatedly shows every other skill you’d look for. Garrett is a better prospect, he’s a phenomenon, but Trubisky is right there with the next tier and as the only qb he should be taken right near the top.

  26. If the media didn’t make things up they wouldn’t have a job. Nobody knows how the draft will unfold, not even some of the teams…

  27. The Browns invested heavily last year in DE-LB types.
    Garrett is good, but #1 good?
    The old timers said draft #1 for impact. Garrett’s skills are undeniable, but so are Fournette’s, who well might be the top rusher in the league. The Browns also invested in their offensive line this off-season.

    Fournette makes sense at #1 for Cleveland. Impact now behind an improved line takes the pressure off the QB with a stud running back.

  28. There are two kinds of intelligence regarding the draft. The first one is the ability to out-maneuver the other teams. The wheeling and dealing, trading, etc., to acquire extra picks. The second one is the talent evaluation process. The ability to know which players are likely to get you to the super bowl. The Browns, and the 49ers (under Baalke) have been excellent at the first skill set. But they’re picking #1 and #2. What’s that tell you?

  29. Jamal Adams should be the pick. Garrett is a dog. Racked up 2/3’s of his sacks against scrubs.

    Trubisky couldnt even beat out a guy that wasnt even drafted.

    Gimme Adams and Deshaun Watson however and with whatever picks they have

  30. Are you sure the leak is coming from the Browns? I would be spreading rumors like this if I were the 49ers or the Bears, to try and get someone to trade up for either Garrett or Trubisky to push another player down to me, or to convince someone to deal with me to get more picks on day 2 with a modest move down.

    This time of year, you can’t really believe anything you hear, but there is usually a definable motive in what you hear. What would be the motive of letting this leak for the Browns? Not much upside to letting this out. For the Niners and Bears? Could be a lot of upside for this being out there.

  31. The motivation is not to make themselves look good when they pick the alternate guy later.

    The Browns motivation is to create uncertainty about who they might pick so that teams that might want the guy that looks like he’ll go at number two won’t trade for the number two pick, but be forced to trade for the number one pick to be guaranteed to get their guy.

    That’s the theory, but this year there may not be a team that wants that alternate player…this approach works best when there are two or more desirable players, like Andrew Luck and RGIII.

    The Browns are artificially trying to drum up interest to get the most demand for their pick and increase its trade value.

  32. I would prefer to just stick at No. 1 and get Garrett, but I’d be intrigued if Tennessee were willing to offer No. 5, No. 18 and either No. 82 or next year’s 2nd rounder.
    At least one of the Ohio State DBs would be there at 5, then they could put finding a QB on hold and continue building the defense. Take the top DL at 12, get a LB at 18 and grab another DB at 33. After that they could start looking at TE and adding depth at OL and RB. I’d love to build a strong defense and focus on running the ball and controlling the clock with the revamped offensive line.
    All that said, I still think I prefer not to overthink it and just take Garret.

  33. Getting Myles Garrett makes no difference if they don’t have a franchise level QB.

    Like Torrey said, what use is a boatload of draft picks if you’re just going to waste them anyway?

    If they genuinely believe Garoppolo is a franchise level QB and BB has said the asking price is 2 firsts then why are you not making that deal in a heartbeat?

    Seriously, if someone from the future told you back in, say, 2006, that you could get Aaron Rodgers for 2 firsts you’d willingly have given that up to have gotten him.

  34. Torrey says:
    Apr 12, 2017 12:47 AM

    Can’t make this stuff up. I hope they pass on Garrett and we see him torment them for the years to come ala Randy Moss vs the Cowboys.
    Actually, they did make this stuff up. These aren’t facts Torrey. It’s speculation.

  35. Leonard Fornette 1st overall….. I don’t think so. That’s a total hail Mary. If Bama’s D can shut him down what will NFL D’s do to him. Mid 1st round at best. Roll Tide!!!

  36. wib22 says:
    Apr 11, 2017 11:03 PM
    Trade #1 for Jimmy instead.

    though belicheat wants to keep him for when old man brady hits the dust.


    Nothing against him, Garrapolo is very good, and to your point good enough to keep the Patriots year in year out dominance rolling along after Brady retires. But the top pick for him or any qb is not a good deal for the Browns. They can take the chance that Garrett will live up to his potential, if he does thats great. Or they should trade down and build up the core team more. The Browns will not be a contender this year nor should they try. Their goal should be to have a more solid roster of core players so that they can then have a foundation to build a contender off of.

  37. The Texans have 2 great DEs …….and NE treats Houston like their bee_atch.
    Except for QB, top heavy, star driven rosters rarely have sustained success. NE values quality depth more so than most every team and at the end of December when most team’s fortunes have been blown up because their “star” is injured and done for the season, NE deals with their injuries by plugging in a quality reserve to take them to the championship game.
    If I was running Cleveland, I’d trade back a few slots, possibly acquire a future 2nd round pick ensuring a sustained advantage draft after draft. The Browns will not achieve success going all in, in one draft. A roster full of rookies never works. Creating a sustained pipeline to fill holes, to manage turn over, as a trading chips…will enable Cleveland to build a deeper roster and prolong their window of opportunity.
    Over the years, NE has used the bounty of extra picks to secure All Pro special teamers, franchise kickers, unusual college athletes that turn into foundation pieces. NE has never been built around a star 1st rounder. Quality depth and superior special teams, all important facets for team success….and no team has used draft surplus better.
    Cleveland fans may want the “star” to make them feel special, but Cleveland’s GM knows his team needs a better more complete roster…..and the Browns’ superior draft chips will allow this.
    Be patient Cleveland….better times are approaching

  38. Jimmy G. is not worth a 1st rd pick. Pats fans just love to overvalue their bench riders.

  39. The key to trading down is to keep your asking price moderate, not over the top. And being willing to accept future years picks always brings out the desperate GMS that need to win now.

  40. Who cares what a losing and dysfunctional organization is planning to do with it’s draft. The only reason they would want the # 1 overall pick is because Myles Garrett is a game changing football player. With Greg Williams as DC the defense is a comtenter in 2017 with Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah as bookends. No GM in their right mind drafts either Leonard Fornette or Mitch Trubisky with the first overall pick. It will prove to be the biggest over reach in NFL history. Watson is the best QB in this draft hands down and he’s not worthy of the first overall pick. The Browns are a hot mess their HC and front office will mess up this draft as they did in last years draft. Hue and the Ivy League boys let their best WR walk out the door and overpaid Kenny Britt, they release Rg3 after one season with no OL to protect and no experienced WR corp and paid $16 million for a second round pick in next years draft and the Texans failed reach at Brock. Hue should be fired by this time next season and maybe the owner will get a real NFL front office.

  41. In most drafts there isn’t a clear gotta have #1 pick. Andrew Luck was probably the last like that. So, if you have the #1 pick, and could slide down a few spots for another top 2nd round pick, and still get a top player you covet, then do it. The problem is getting another team to do that deal when there are no standouts in the draft.

    I’m sure Myles Garrett will be a great player. But he’s probably not going to turn a franchise around either.

  42. I’ve gotten so I hate this time of year as the draft draws closer. It is any rumor will do .. it gives “talking heads” something to opine about. There are no guarantees in the draft and none of the players entering the draft are perfect. Garrett may be great or just so-so….. who knows. To hit on 50% of your picks is a big success… the Browns need to take him or Solomon Thomas … def. end is a huge need…….

  43. “The game here is simple and clear: Cast a wide net as to what the Browns could do with the top pick so that if/when they trade down and take someone in a lower spot, they can claim that’s the guy they would have taken at No. 1.”

    Uhhh….that’s not the game. I guess it could be a small part of the game, but what they are really trying to do by floating all of these names is create a market for their pick by making potential trade partners think there is some chance that the Browns could take whatever guy they are targeting, and so they will have to trade up in order to ensure they get that guy.

  44. Lol I hope Garrett has his “Brady Quinn face” all ready to go as he drops a few slots.

  45. First of all, there was no leak. LaCanfora said “Some have suggested to me that Fournette is even in play at No. 1 with the Browns.” He then followed that by “I don’t see that happening.” This guy is stealing money from ESPN. Isaiah Crowell was a top 5 free agent running back and Duke Johnson led the league in yards per touch. Myles Garrett is a slam dunk first pick because he’s the best player that fills the biggest need for the Browns.

  46. First, it’s easy to see what this is. Just put the pieces together:

    1. Unnamed NFL executive tells Adam Schefter that the Browns are undecided between Garrett and Trubisky, creating the possibility that Garrett will be there at #2.

    2. John Lynch (NFL executive) of the 49ers comes out the next day and says he is willing to trade the #2 pick.

    It’s more than obvious that the unnamed executive was Lynch trying to get someone to think that Garrett would be available at #2 so he could get more leverage on a trade out of that spot.

    And for all you delusional Pats fans who still think you are going to get the #1 overall pick for Garoppolo, you can put it back in your pants because that’s not going to happen.

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