Cleveland Browns: Trading up for No. 1 pick would be daft
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns are in a good spot for the 2016 NFL Draft and the last thing they should do is make a trade for the No. 1 pick.
The Cleveland Browns currently hold the No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, which is a pretty good situation to be in.
If Cleveland’s decision makers do their homework in building their draft board and then trust their work come draft night, they should be able to walk out of the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago on April 28 with an impact player.
The only drawback to holding the second selection, outside of the fact that you had to be a bad team to earn that pick, is if there is one player you absolutely want to select you may miss out on him.
Related: Mike Mayock: Browns should draft a QB in the first round
But without a clear-cut franchise-altering player available in this year’s draft, most notably at quarterback, it does not make any sense for executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown to consider swinging a deal with the Tennessee Titans for the No. 1 overall pick.
“We’re not going to stretch beyond where we want to be in terms of finding the right player at the right value.” – Sashi Brown
The speculation over whether or not the Browns would even consider such a move has been kicked around the past few days after the question was posed to Mary Kay Cabot for her weekly Hey Mary Kay! column at cleveland.com. She responded to the question by backing a “do whatever it takes” philosophy:
"If the Browns determine that Cal quarterback Jared Goff is their man, they should definitely trade up to No. 1 to get him. The Titans, who have Marcus Mariota, have said they’re willing to deal the pick, and the Browns should not let someone leapfrog them and snatch him away. Speculation is that the Cowboys at No. 4 might have their eye on the top pick. But with the No. 2 overall selection, the Browns should have better bargaining power than most teams. I would give the Titans whatever it takes to get him. The Browns also have the No. 32 overall pick. Throw that in and something else if necessary. The Browns are going nowhere until they have a championship-caliber quarterback and they have to do whatever it takes to get him.your text"
The Titans are clearly not selecting a quarterback and would be more than happy to get a couple of teams into a bidding war for the No. 1 pick, resulting in a price that the Browns should not be willing to pay.
A position that Brown apparently also believes in.
“Go up? That would be shocking,” Brown told cleveland.com on Tuesday. “I think we’re happy where we are at the No. 2 pick. If anything, we’d probably move back.’
“We’re not going to stretch beyond where we want to be in terms of finding the right player at the right value,” said Brown. “There are a number of players that we feel like are going to be at the top of the draft that can impact our team and help us win and different teams value different players differently. That’s some of the surprise and magic of draft day as opportunities present themselves, so we’ll look at all of them.
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“We’ll have discussions I’m sure with a number of teams that will be interested in players at those top two slots and determine what puts us in the best position for 2016 and beyond.”
While the Browns certainly need to finally solve the quarterback situation, moving up one spot to select Goff or one of the other quarterbacks feels like more of a panic move as opposed to a strategic one, which is how you end up using first-round picks on players like Craig Powell or Johnny Manziel.
It would be nice if the three quarterbacks currently expected to be first-round picks – Goff, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz – were all available when the Browns are on the clock at No. 2, but if one of them are gone the Browns will still have options.
Just as long as trading up one spot is not one of those options, the team should be fine.