The Browns traded a linebacker that Eric Mangini and Rob Ryan never seemed to favor (Alex Hall), and two of the many draft picks we've been stockpiling the past year (a fourth-rounder and a fifth rounder) to the Eagles. In exchange, Cleveland acquired a utility linebacker that Mangini covets (Chris Gocong) and a huge upgrade at cornerback in Sheldon Brown, who will most definitely be a starter. Also, the majority of Browns fans seem thrilled, while many Eagles fans seem disappointed and bitter.
I won't go into much detail on the scouting report of the two players we acquired, because Jason from our SBN Eagles affiliate already did a wonderful job with that. What I want to evaluate is how this affects CB Brandon McDonald and the need for drafting a cornerback in this month's draft.
As our draft board stands right now, Joe Haden is ranked fourth. Chances are that Eric Berry, Ndamukong Suh, and Sam Bradford will be gone when we're picking at No. 7. Prior to the acquisition of Brown, I wouldn't have minded taking a shot on Haden. With Brown on board though, certainly the mentality changes, right? While we are not very good at cornerback after Eric Wright and Brown, I don't see how you spend a draft pick that high on a player who wouldn't be able to contribute as a starter for a few years (excluding quarterbacks).
I don't buy the case that Brown is too old at the age of 31 either. Cornerbacks can still play at a high level in this league at that age (see Charles Woodson [age 33] and Champ Bailey [age 31]). Now the question becomes how comfortable you would be with Mike Adams or Brandon McDonald at the nickel back position this year. When McDonald performed poorly as a starter, many of us have always resorted to saying, "he really needs to go back to the nickel back position." Now I'm getting a little greedy though -- I see the opportunity to upgrade at the cornerback position a little later in the draft.
The question is, is cornerback still enough of a priority that we upgrade the position, or should we divert all of our attention to other positions (note: I'm not really referring to taking a flier on a cornerback in the 6th or 7th round). Here are the draft picks we currently own:
1st Round - No. 7
2nd Round - No. 38
3rd Round - No. 71
3rd Round - No. 85
3rd Round - No. 92
5th Round - No. 134
5th Round - No. 146
5th Round - No. 160
6th Round - No. 177
6th Round - No. 186
What round would you start thinking about drafting a cornerback, and did this trade influence that decision? Is Joe Haden a non-option at this point?