Aaron Curry was gone. Several other defensive stars remained such as Brian Orakpo, Clay Matthews and Rey Maualuga. The Browns decided to trade the number five overall pick to the New York Jets. Did we get enough in return?
Yes. We got one extra Draft pick in the second round (52nd overall) and three players.
With the 52nd overall pick, we acquired Hawaii Defensive End David Veikune. This could be a “sleeper pick”. Although undersized, Veikune is very strong. At the Combine, his bench presses were among the best of all defensive players. He tackles well in open space but is quick and agile enough to rush the passer, something we desperately need after posting one of the lowest sack totals in the NFL last season. He has a good motor and a personality that is a little “off” – exactly what you want from a defensive end.
As far as the three players go that we acquired in the trade, none of them is a bust. Defensive End Kenyon Coleman has 7 years of pro experience. He is nearly 6.5 feet tall and weighs almost 300 pounds. He can be a starter – he played in 16 games the last three seasons. He tallied an impressive 136 tackles in the past two seasons, plus 2 sacks. Going into the Draft, we needed linebackers and a good defensive end. Coleman is a decent DE right now; Veikune has the potential to become one.
We also got Defensive Back Abram Elam. Our secondary needs help, and Elam can contribute. Again, he can be a starter – he played in 16 games last season. He has three years in the pros. He could be taller at 6 feet right on, however, he has bulk and can lean on opposing receivers (almost 210 pounds). In 2008, Elam had 69 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception and 1 touchdown. His speed and footwork are average.
Third, we acquired quarterback Brett Ratliff. Brett is a big guy at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 235 pounds. Brett is entering his second year in the NFL. Not unusually, he has yet to play in a regular season game. But he turned a lot of heads in New York when the other Brett arrived. Ratliff has a solid arm, and when Favre arrived in town he had to deal with the fact that Ratliff threw two touchdowns in his first NFL experience – one for 70 yards and the other for 71 yards. Not a bad start. And not a bad third string QB.
You can always “arm-chair” these trades, but on the whole we did pretty good in getting what we got for the fifth overall pick in the Draft. Thank goodness we did not use the number five pick on Crabtree. We got two receivers in the second round, Robiskie and Massaquoi, who have the potential to be every bit as good as Crabtree but with half the attitude and a fraction of the price.