Cleveland Browns Might Be Better Off Trading Their First Round Pick

By Christopher Gamble
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports


The Cleveland Browns are far from being a playoff contender, at least on paper at the moment. They can improve their future fortunes in the upcoming NFL Draft where they currently have the sixth overall selection. Several draft forecasters have projected Geno Smith as an option for the Browns as they continue to search for their franchise quarterback, something they haven’t had since Bernie Kosar was under center.

In recent years, the Browns have used high draft picks to nab Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden in the hopes that one of them might be the answer. Quinn is long gone and McCoy has since been shipped to the San Francisco 49ers where he will back up Colin Kaepernick. Weeden, one of the Browns’ two first-round picks last year, is already facing the firing squad it seems.

Adding Smith might be a sensible move for the Browns. However, with several teams possibly thinking about trading up in the draft the Browns might best be served to trade down from the sixth slot and accumulate several draft picks to fill several holes. Right now the Browns do not have a second round pick after using it in last year’s supplemental draft to acquire Josh Gordon.

Granted, it takes two parties to tango in a trade. It is a lot easier said than done to say a team must trade a certain pick. The asking price has to be right for both teams, at least in the eyes of the respective general managers. One team that the Browns might be able to flirt with is the Miami Dolphins who currently hold the 12th pick as well as two second round picks. The St. Louis Rams have two first-round picks as they are slotted in at the 16th and 22nd slots. The Rams might be pressured on draft day to move up to grab the wide receiver they currently desire which is rumored to be Tavon Austin. The Rams could package the 16th and the 46th overall picks to ensure they get their man. Is it likely? At this point no but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

If the Browns do happen to find a partner to trade down they could grab a pass rusher like Bjoern Werner, or a good pass rushing linebacker if the Browns move a 3-4, with their first pick and take a quarterback prospect like Mike Glennon with a later pick.

Right now, given the state of the Browns I believe their best bet is to shop the pick and stockpile as many draft choices as possible to fill as many holes as possible. Of course if they can’t find a suitable deal I suppose they could do a lot worse than Geno Smith at number six.

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