3 first-round mistakes that continue to haunt the Browns

The Cleveland Browns have been better as of late, but these first-round mistakes are still bothersome

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Browns will (once again) be without a pick in the first round of the NFL Draft this offseason. So while other teams are looking at which prospects might be on the board for them, the Browns are going to be wondering who could slide into Round 2.

As frustrating as that can be, it's not as if a Round 1 pick always leads to success. Here's a look at three mistakes the Browns have made with their top selection that still haunt this team.

3. Trading for OBJ

In all my time following the Browns ther's one constant I've learned — when the fan base collectively thinks something is a "steal," it will be an epic failure.

That was the case in 2019 when former general manager John Dorsey "fleeced" the New York Giants in the Odell Beckham, Jr. trade. New York sent OBJ to the Browns in exchange for the 17th and 95th overall selections in the draft. For good measure, they also got Jabrill Peppers, a former first-round pick at safety who was coming off his best season.

With those picks, the Giants landed Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines. Lawrence turned into one the premier nose tackles in the game, recording 266 tackles and 21 sacks in his career. He also earned a mammoth extension last year. Ximines never turned into a star and enters free agency this offseson with 71 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Still, he was a decent backup.

Peppers played two years in New York and while he was hurt for most of 2021, he had 91 tackles and 2.4 sacks with 11 pass defenses and a pick in 2020.

As for OBJ, he was exactly what the outsiders said he would be — a walking distraction.

Beckham had one season with more than 1,000 yards but had one instance of telling a team "Come get me," one locker room beef which was handled in his typical passive-aggressive way, and one video released by his dad that divided the locker room.

Thankfully all of that is behind them but they could have avoided it all and been going into season five with someone as talented as Lawrence.