#TeamTradeBack: Who Could The Browns Have Got?

Before the NFL Draft, I wrote an article on the idea of doing multiple trade backs, all the way out of the first round to maximize the amount of day two picks that the Browns had. I’m aware that doing something like this is a risky strategy and you might not get the players/positions that you want.

I thought I would play out the scenario of what we could have got on day 2 based on taking the best player on the board when we make our picks. I’m not going to use hindsight to know Jones falls to the 72nd pick to grab him at say 71. Also, I’m taking the board as I see it with each pick, they will all be done chronically without working out my 5th pick and working backward.

Brad Spielberger, co-author of ‘The Drafting Stage‘ has noted that the trade back value in this draft hasn’t been quite as high as some previous years. It is something to be aware of and could possibly have thrown a spanner in the works. Also, we will likely never know the full extend of the offers on the table to the Browns at 10.

What Was The Trade?

For the full breakdown of how the trades would have gone down, read my previous piece. By using multiple trade backs based on real historical trades, I flipped the 10th pick and turned it into five different days two picks. The 154th pick that was historically used the Browns no longer have due to the Teller trade. To balance this out during the scenario we will cancel out the 160th pick gained in the Colts trade back.

Total Given Up – 10, 154
Total Received in 2020 Draft – 46, 49, 65, 83
Total Received in 2021 Draft – Broncos 2nd

What Picks Have We Now Got?

Let’s look at the picks the Browns now have based on this scenario and how we got here:

Day 2
44 – Existing Pick (Colts Trade)
46 – From Trade Back
49 – From Trade Back
65 – From Trade Back
83 – From Trade Back
88 – Existing Pick (Saints Trade)
97 – Existing Pick

Day 3
115 – Existing Pick
187 – Existing Pick

Extra Future From Draft Day Trades
Broncos 2nd – From Trade Back
Saints 3rd – From Saints Trade

Who To Pick?

Throughout the draft I will give my opinions on the options the Browns have at each of the picks. For the picks the Browns have taken in real life I will try and keep to them as realistically as possible to allow for a better comparison. I would never trade up for a non-QB, so that is off the table in this scenario. I have used a balance of data (PFF) & tape (Dane Brugler) to build the order and options during the draft.

For each pick I have tried to give a selection of three players still on the board at each position of need. If you don’t like my picks then by all means, do yours as you are going. So if you see me take a position and then list it as an option again for the next pick, I am just presenting choices/scenarios for you.

Pick 44 – OT Josh Jones

The first pick for the Browns in the draft is a no brainer, no choices required! Their biggest need is LT and they run the card straight to the podium to pick LT Josh Jones. PFF’s Analytics Mock 2.0 has him as their 3rd best OT looking at his projections behind Wirfs and Thomas. He is their 14th overall player and the second best OT during the 2019 season. Dane Brugler has him as a 1st-2nd round player. His slide stops much earlier than in real life.

Pick 46 – S Grant Delpit

Here are the options for the Browns:
WR – Denzel Mims/K.J. Hamler/Chase Claypool
ED – A.J. Epenesa/Curtis Weaver/Josh Uche
ID – Jordan Elliott/Justin Madubuike/Neville Gallimore
LB – Willie Gay Jr./Akeem Davis-Gaither/Troy Dye
CB – Kristian Fulton/Jaylon Johnson/Trevon Diggs
S – Grant Delpit/Antoine Winfield Jr./Ashtyn Davis

There is a chance the Buccaneers would take Delpit over Winfield Jr, in which case you can then grab him instead. Personally I would go for a WR first in Mims because I consider it to be a much more important position. The third main option here would be to grab one of the top three remaining CBs, it would give the Browns another top talent to battle Greedy Williams. It is a position you can’t have enough talent and depth at.

For the purposes of this situation, we will stick with the pick of safety because that is what the Browns did but maybe they think differently if they have a pick at 49 as well?

Just using hindsight out of interest, the only player that went by 49 is WR KJ Hamler. But none of the top three WRs, top three CBs and top four safties including Jeremy Chinn make it to pick 65 so whichever two you go for, that’s it.

Pick 49 – WR Denzel Mims

Here are the options for the Browns:
WR – Denzel Mims/Chase Claypool/K.J. Hill
ED – A.J. Epenesa/Curtis Weaver/Josh Uche
ID – Jordan Elliott/Justin Madubuike/Neville Gallimore
LB – Willie Gay Jr./Akeem Davis-Gaither/Troy Dye
CB – Kristian Fulton/Jaylon Johnson/Trevon Diggs
S – Ashtyn Davis/Jeremy Chinn/Terrell Burgess

This one is an easy pick for the Browns, add a third receiver to the mix in Denzel Mims. It is a position they really need to add to the roster because behind the two starters in OBJ and Landry the cupboard is bare. Both receivers are coming off injuries and one is likely a cap casualty in a trade next offseason, so grooming their replacement now is how smart teams operate. Also just because you have a base two-tight end scheme, you are still likely to see just as many three-receiver sets as two-tight end ones looking at past two-tight end schemes.

The other main options I could see them looking at would be A.J. Epenesa as edge defenders and the replacement for Vernon next season. Also, they could move for Willie Gay Jr. and address the weakness in their linebacker room. Slot cornerback remains an option too.

Pick 65 – CB Amik Robertson

Here are the options for the Browns:
WR – K.J. Hill/Tyler Johnson/Jauan Jennings
ED – Curtis Weaver/Julian Okwara/Zack Baun
ID – Jordan Elliott/Justin Madubuike/Neville Gallimore
LB – Akeem Davis-Gaither/Troy Dye/Malik Harrison
CB – Bryce Hall/Cameron Dantzler/Amik Robertson
S – Terrell Burgess/Geno Stone/Kenny Robinson Jr.

The Browns have four remaining positions where they want to add talent on day two of the draft. At Edge Defender they can look between Okwara and Weaver, both are great players and complete a fantastic rotation. On the interior of the defensive line, they have three players that also give an amazing amount of depth and allow for a balanced rotation to keep everyone as fresha and impactful as possible. With Gay off the board, linebacker isn’t as exciting now, so a position they are happy to wait on.

The fourth option is the slot cornerback. The nickel is a starting role in most defenses and a position the Browns lack in, no one is sure Kevin Johnson is perfectly suited to it or healthy. Bryce Hall has injury concerns but with the abundance of picks, the Browns now have you can take more risks than other teams as misses don’t hurt as much. While Dantzler is great, Robertson and Holmes are much more suited to the slot.

Pick 83 – ED Curtis Weaver

Here are the options for the Browns:
WR – K.J. Hill/Tyler Johnson/Jauan Jennings
ED – Curtis Weaver/Terrell Lewis/Kenny Willekes
ID – Jordan Elliott/James Lynch/McTelvin Agim
LB – Akeem Davis-Gaither/Troy Dye/Malik Harrison
CB – Bryce Hall/Cameron Dantzler/Darnay Holmes
S – Terrell Burgess/Geno Stone/Kenny Robinson Jr.

The Browns are again in a luxury position of another close set of picks. While they haven’t had a single linebacker drafted out of their top three choices since 65 they are down to one main target between both edge and interior of the defensive line.

In this scenario we will jump on the Edge Defender first because we know in real life they take Elliott next and I would prefer not to mess with those picks. They now have a rotation of 4 absolute weapons in the edge room, providing fantastic depth if Vernon goes down.

Pick 88 – ID Jordan Elliott

Here are the options for the Browns:
WR – K.J. Hill/Tyler Johnson/Jauan Jennings
ED – Curtis Weaver/Kenny Willekes/Trevis Gipson
ID – Jordan Elliott/James Lynch/McTelvin Agim
LB – Akeem Davis-Gaither/Troy Dye/Malik Harrison
CB – Bryce Hall/Cameron Dantzler/Darnay Holmes
S – Terrell Burgess/Geno Stone/Kenny Robinson Jr.

The Browns then double down on the defensive line and pick up Jordan Elliott. It gives them a second 3-Tech on the roster to rotate with Richardson. It means they can move his contract on next season and invest the cap space elsewhere on the roster. Then a battle of Ogunjobi and Billings for which one performs best to see if either can earn a new deal with the Browns in 2021.

Pick 97 – LB Jacob Phillips

Here are the options for the Browns:
WR – K.J. Hill/Tyler Johnson/Jauan Jennings
ED – Curtis Weaver/Kenny Willekes/Trevis Gipson
ID – James Lynch/McTelvin Agim/Bravvion Roy
LB – Akeem Davis-Gaither/Troy Dye/Malik Harrison
CB – Bryce Hall/Darnay Holmes/Josiah Scott
S – Terrell Burgess/Geno Stone/Kenny Robinson Jr.

If the Browns had this many picks on day 2 I feel they would have addressed linebacker much earlier. I’m not a massive fan of Phillips, while he has been fantastic against the run and a tackling machine, he leaves lots to be desired in coverage and rushing the passer. It is just a little rich for me to draft an early downs LB this early. The one scenario I could see him play well in is my dream 11 personnel base defense of three corners and three safeties. Having one player who is so strong in the run game is beneficial when the six defensive backs can cover for him in the passing game.

Personally, my pick here would have been Davis-Gaither, he is a much more all-around linebacker. He is a 2nd round talent according to Dane Brugler and 67 on PFF’s big board. If we compare that to Phillips who is a 5th round talent and 184th respectively.

Conclusion

So to wrap up the article lets put the names to the deal and ask yourself, if you were Andrew Berry and this offer was put to you before Day 3 begins do you pull the trigger? You keep Delpit, Elliott & Phillips regardless.

Browns Lose:
OT Jedrick Wills Jr.
Pick 160

Browns Gain:
OT Josh Jones
WR Denzel Mims
CB Amik Robertson
ED Curtis Weaver
Broncos 2021 2nd Rounder

To help visualize what the Broncos 2nd rounder next year looks like. They are 22nd with the bookies to win the Super Bowl. If we flip that on its head you can see them around picking 11 in the draft. That would mean this pick is projected to be the 43rd. If that was this year I’m always of the mind of having extra receivers, so go, Chase Claypool, as he can flex to being a tight end too for Stefanski if needed.

Personally I make the move without even needing to think twice. I look forward to doing a review of this in three years’ time. That’s how long they say it takes a draft class to show what they are. It might be a disaster trade but it might be a no brainer, we shall see.

I hope you find this an enjoyable read and allowed you to visualize what the projected trade down article looks like in practice. Please let me know your feedback by tweeting me @JackDuffin on Twitter (DM’s are open). Enjoy day three of the draft!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *