Why this Browns player could be traded during the NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns v Carolina Panthers
Cleveland Browns v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

With a roster mostly built to win now, the Cleveland Browns don't need all eight of their picks in this weekend's NFL Draft to help fill out the team. In fact, there probably aren't even eight roster spots available, especially not for later-round rookies unless the team views them as sure-fire special teams contributors.

So what should Browns GM Andrew Berry and the front office consider doing with these eight picks? One option is to trade out of certain spots if a player on the team's board isn't available at that time. The Browns could add extra picks in next year's draft or the year after.

Another option is to package a few picks and/or a player to move up in the draft. We could see this happen if a player high on the team's board falls past a certain point where the decision makers say, "Okay, now it's worth the price to go up and get him" (see John Suchan's article Cleveland Browns need to be open to trading picks in 2023 NFL Draft).

If the Browns have to throw in a player to get a draft day deal done, wide receiver Anthony Schwartz could be at the top of the list.

Schwartz was the Browns third-round pick (Pick 91) in the 2021 NFL Draft. He ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (99th percentile) and a 4.26 at his Pro Day. If you remember the rationale for drafting Schwartz in the third round, a lot of emphases went on his having "Olympian-level speed."

Unfortunately, straight-line speed doesn't always translate to the NFL game. And a wide receiver needs a lot more than just pure jets to excel on the field. Over two seasons in Cleveland, Schwartz has caught a mere 14 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. That's definitely not the type of production the Browns had in mind with their third-round draft capital.

Not only has Schwartz offered little-to-no production on the field, but he's also simply never on the field.

In 2021, Schwartz only played on 33% of the team's offensive snaps. That number dropped to just 14% in 2022. Not only do the Browns elect not to put Schwartz on the field for offensive plays, but his special teams snaps were below 30% for both seasons. Sadly, it appears the Browns do not have confidence in what Schwartz has to offer to the offense or special teams.

So which teams might be interested in a wide receiver with third-round draft capital and elite speed, but who has shown no clear ability to produce in an NFL offense? Perhaps a team like the Kansas City Chiefs (Pick 63 in the second round) or the Miami Dolphins (Pick 51 in the second round) would be interested in adding Schwartz's level of speed to the guys already in their wide receiver room.

The Detroit Lions (Picks 48 and 55 in the second round) could also be in the market for a field-stretching receiver with the recent news of second-year wideout Jameson Williams' six-game suspension for gambling.

The Arizona Cardinals (Pick 66 in the third round) have all but parted ways with DeAndre Hopkins, and their wide receiver room could use some more speed for whoever plays quarterback for much of, if not all of, the 2023 season.

Finally, the Buffalo Bills (Pick 59 in the second round) could be in the mix for a receiver in the first round. But if a wideout on their board isn't available, they could focus on a different position, and that could make a guy like Schwartz an interesting trade piece later on.

Whatever happens, there's plenty of evidence pointing to Schwartz not being on the Browns roster in 2023. With the trade for Elijah Moore from the New York Jets and the signing of veteran Marquise Goodwin, the writing is on the wall for Schwartz.

If the Browns have an opportunity during the draft to get a player they think can help win now, and including Schwartz can get the deal done, it wouldn't be a surprise to see it happen.

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