BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – It’s hard to argue with what the Browns were able to turn the second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft into over the last 2 weeks.
If all goes as they planned, they may have hit the mother-load.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown with the counsel of chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry, used it to nab the best receiver on their board in Baylor’s Corey Coleman.
Separate trades with Philadelphia and Tennessee also allowed the Browns to accumulate a 2017 first-, 2017 and 2018 second-, a pair of 2016 third- and a 2016 fourth-round pick.
“We literally may have, in effect, two drafts next year within the first four rounds at least,” DePodesta said. “Then, we also have an extra second rounder in 2018. Look, we may use those picks to move up in the draft or do other things with. 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.”
Assuming that Coleman lives up to expectations – and right now based on previous history, fair or not, that remains a big assumption – and if they use the additional picks properly, the reconstruction of the team could be accelerated drastically.
“Corey is a guy that I think we’ve had in our sights for a while, and we felt like if the right opportunity presented itself to move in the middle of the first round where we felt like we could get him and pick up really value for doing that, then that’s something we would do,” DePodesta said.
The Browns’ decision to trade out of No. 8 surprised few and the team had several ongoing conversations with the Titans Thursday. Cleveland sent No. 8 and No. 176 – a sixth round pick – to Tennessee for No. 15, No. 76 – third round – and a 2017 second round pick.
Browns Remaining NFL Draft Picks (Overall/*= Compensatory Pick)
Round 2: 1 (32); Round 3: 2 (65), 13 (76), 14 (77); Round 4: 1 (99), 2 (100), 40 (138*) Round 5: 2 (141), 35 (172*), 36 (173*); Round 7: 1 (223)
The Titans selected Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin following the trade with Cleveland and the Browns later selected Coleman at 15.
“What a tremendous athlete and the suddenness and quickness,” Jackson said. “We plan on being very dynamic on offense. This guy truly gives us an opportunity to do that. He’s one of the players that obviously was very high on our board. We had an opportunity to take him, and we did. I’m very excited about it.”
By holding the first selection on day 2 – No. 32 – as well as the first 2 picks – Nos. 99 and 100 – on day 3, Brown and the Browns aren’t done dealing.
“I think it’s going to be very valuable, and I think probably our phone will ring off the hook tonight,” Jackson said of the No. 32 pick. “I think we will have a lot more of these discussions tomorrow. At the end of the day, the most important part for us is to make the best decision for our organization and make sure that we are still continuing to put very talented football players on our football team.”
The Browns came into Thursday night with a plan and they executed it to perfection getting the player they wanted in Coleman while positioning themselves with premium draft assets and plenty of opportunities to reconstruct the roster through the draft going forward.
As their vision comes into focus, it’s on them now to spend those new assets wisely, something their predecessors failed to do over and over.