Let's get this out of the way: the first round of the draft was awesome for Browns fans. We took a highly rated player eighth overall after adding a first round pick next season. Then we took our QB of the future. It's an exciting day. But there are still a couple of things nagging at me. Let's walk through last night's sequence of events and find out what went swimmingly and what makes me want to step on a kitten.
The first big move of the night for the Browns was trading from number four to number nine. When I first saw the move, I hated it. I took it as a pretty clear signal that they weren't taking a QB, but more on that later. When I saw the return, though, that trepidation turned into joy. We got a first round pick for moving down five spots, and we got it from a team that will likely be picking in the top 20 next year. Not only that, but it was pretty clear that we would still be able to get the player we were targeting at nine overall. So at this point, I'm ecstatic about the trade, but I'm mostly worried about starting the year with a QB depth chart made entirely of wash-outs and cast-offs.
Now we get to the eighth pick. The Browns make a minor trade to go up one spot. I really have no clue where they're going here. The top two receivers are off the board, as are the top pass rushers. Farmer clearly has something in mind, but what? When Roger Goodell approaches the podium, I'm nervously excited. When he calls out "Justin Gilbert," my heart sank. My initial reaction was, "Who?" followed closely by "[redacted]," when I remembered who Justin Gilbert was. This is nothing against Gilbert as a player. I'm sure he's very good. But I hate this pick almost as much as I hated the Trent Richardson pick. The only thing elevating it above a total dumpster fire is the fact that I'm sure he's very good. "But wait," you're saying, "If you think he's so good, why would you hate the pick?" The answer is simple: value. I hate this pick for all the same reasons a lot of people were against picking Sammy Watkins. We already have one elite corner. Recent history indicates that adding a second elite corner to a defense does not improve it at all. I won't speculate on why that is, maybe I'll write something about that another day. Suffice it to say I think this pick was a waste, and is basically insurance in case we can't re-sign Haden, which I think is unlikely.
By now I'm having a pretty bad time. I drink another couple of beers, while just trying to enjoy the rest of the draft. Eric Ebron was a pretty good pick for the Lions. Crap, Shazier is a Steeler. Ha, the Ravens took Mosley. Now pick 22 is on the clock, and I'm watching intently along with my girlfriend, an Eagles fan. I'm thinking the pick is either Marqise Lee or Devonte Adams, since most of the top flight defenders are off the board and the Eagles need to replace DeSean Jackson. When a trade is announced, I'm a little miffed. I've been waiting a while for the Eagles pick and now I'll have to wait longer. Then the Browns logo flashes onto the screen, and I immediately start to think "They can't be, can they?" I'm hoping at this point that they're targeting a QB, but I look down at the teams they jumped and can't imagine why they would have needed to trade up for a quarterback. Then the pick is announced, and I almost jump out of my seat with excitement. Sure, I would have preferred Bridgewater. But we've got the most exciting player in the draft and he plays the most important position. It's a new start for the Cleveland Browns, and I couldn't be happier. The future is now people. Johnny Football is a Cleveland Brown.
This first round was a weird one for me. By all rights, I should be incredibly happy. We essentially added a first round pick for free and drafted a shiny new quarterback. But we also wasted a top ten pick and curiously traded up when it didn't look like we needed to. I also don't think it makes sense to pick a QB at 22 who wasn't good enough for you at 4. But today is supposed to be a happy day. For now, I won't worry about the process or the positional value of a #2 corner. We got our guys, and that's all that matters.
To Quote Johnny Manziel: "Football is football. It deserves to be fun."