Mar 8, 2012

Why Trading Down Is Not A Bad Option For The Browns

Browns GM Tom Heckert talked to reporters today about the draft options as well as Hillis. There wasn't anything new about Hillis other than the same old "We'd like to have him back if he wants to be back" crap.

However, Heckert mentioned just about every possible option the Browns can do in this draft. Trade up, pick at 4, and TRADE DOWN. Within seconds of him uttering those words, my Twitter timeline erupted with fans upset about trading down again. However, I think it could be more valuable than last years trade.

Here's why:

Last year's strategy was simple. The Browns could have taken a dynamic WR in Julio Jones at 6, but sided with the idea of gaining picks. We basically stole house from the Falcons and are now sitting pretty this year.

This year is a bit different. Heckert mentioned trading up for Robert Griffin III, but didn't say that was the only option. If the price tag gets to high (see: Dan Snyder), it wouldn't be in the best interest of the Browns to move up.

The simple plan would then be draft at 4 and take either Blackmon or Richardson. However, I believe at this point, trading down would be smarter than drafting them.

Blackmon is the consensus top WR in this years draft. However, last year, he would have easily been 3rd. This means he could have fallen between 10-20. There is no doubt he is talented. But is he that talented? If you are going to draft a top 5 WR, it better be the likes of Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Fitz, or Andre Johnson. Frankly, Blackmon is not on that level. It would be too much of a risk to draft him at 4.

Yet, not every GM thinks the same. I'm sure there will be some team that falls in love with Blackmon and would be eager to trade. The same goes for Richardson.

If the Browns trade down to the early teens, we could still be looking at two 1st round picks this year, plus either an additional 2nd round or 2013 1st.

Now I know eventually, the Browns actually have to draft players and not keep acquiring picks. If they only trade down to the early teens, QB Ryan Tannehill could be there. In fact, I doubt the Browns make a trade unless they are sure he is. Why trade the house for RG3 when you can gain picks and get Tannehill? Believe me, I am a huge RG3 fan and think the Browns should do everything to get him. But if the price is too high, let's add picks.

Staying on this hypothetical course, the Browns have just drafted Ryan Tannehill. We now have our 22nd pick which leaves us with a ton of options. This includes the likes of a 2nd tier RB (Miller, WIlson), and O-Lineman, A LB, or a WR. In fact, I am just as high on some 2nd tier WRs as I am on Blackmon. Kendall Wright and Alshon Jeffery will be there at 22 and possibly 37. Don't forget Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech who is 6'4" and is blazing fast.

The Browns can easily add 3-4 decent starters with this draft and we haven't even mentioned free agency yet. So Browns fans, don't freak out when you hear the option of trading down, it might just be the best option.

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