If there is one thing that Cleveland Browns fans are spoiled with in the NFL, it is the fan fare that comes with watching the NFL Draft. Just imagine -- if you were a Seattle Seahawks fan, you waited all night for your team to make a first round pick before trading out to not even have a first rounder in 2017.
Browns fans began the night with two first-round picks and ended it with three first-rounders, a haul that addressed three significant positions of need, and another big asset in 2018:
- No. 1 - DE Myles Garrett (View Report)
- No. 25 - S Jabrill Peppers (View Report)
- No. 29 - TE David Njoku (View Report)
- Houston Texans’ 1st Rounder in 2018 (View Report)
The draft started out very well for Browns fans when the team selected Garrett first overall. They even allowed legendary running back Jim Brown to call Garrett on the phone to help in giving him the good news:
“Hello Myles, this is Jim Brown speaking. We’re happy that you’re a Cleveland Brown … “ pic.twitter.com/SbHinaG79Y— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 28, 2017
And you can watch if unfold from Garrett’s perspective. The fact that he had a Cleveland shirt on underneath his initial shirt seems to confirm our report from earlier that the Browns informed him prior to the draft that he’d go No. 1 overall:
Afterward is where things got a bit crazy. The Chicago Bears traded up to No. 2 to take QB Mitchell Trubisky, shattering the hopes and dreams of many of the Browns faithful who wanted the Mentor native. Reports had surfaced that Cleveland had an interest in QB Patrick Mahomes, though. They tried waiting patiently until No. 12, but it sounds like the Kansas City Chiefs won the battle to trade up to No. 10 to select Mahomes.
I understand why it was enticing for the Browns to trade out at No. 12, which they of course did, but I think I would’ve stayed put and selected S Malik Hooker, who was stunningly still available before going a few picks later to the Indianapolis Colts. They weighed the option of Hooker vs. an extra first-rounder in 2018, and probably knowing the safety class is still deep enough to get a starting-caliber player.
So at No. 25, that’s what they got in Peppers, who I knew would no doubt be a controversial pick. A short while later, Cleveland got back into the first round by acquiring the No. 29 pick from the Packers. The Browns gave Green Bay the first pick of Day 2 (No. 33 overall, second round) and the first pick of Day 3 (No. 108 overall, fourth round). Essentially, they gave up a fourth round pick to secure the rights to the second best tight end in this year’s class.
The DBN Big Board
If I’m being selfish and only looking at my personal big board, the Browns did pretty darn well. Sure, I am a little bummed that we passed on the chance to get the top two players on my board (we got Garrett, but not Hooker). However, here is how I personally had our three picks ranked:
- Garrett (Ranked #1, picked at No. 1)
- Peppers (Ranked #23, picked at No. 25)
- Njoku (Ranked #12, picked at No. 29)
Plus, we acquired an extra 1st round pick in 2018. Not bad. If we go by the cumulative DBN big board, Garrett was #1, Peppers was #38, and Njoku was #21.
Late Quotes from Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson
#Browns exec Sashi Brown said we didn't know how board would fall, didn't know we would've had to take QB Mitch Trubisky at No. 1 to get him— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) April 28, 2017
#Browns Hue Jackson said Jabrill Peppers will play defense but they will find a role for him on offense.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) April 28, 2017
#Browns Hue Jackson said Jabrill Peppers can play both safety spots, best closer to ball at strong safety.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) April 28, 2017
#Browns exec Sashi Brown said Myles Garrett old soul, works hard, eats, drinks, sleeps ball, has other interests, intelligence off charts— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) April 28, 2017
#Browns exec Sashi Brown said David Njoku extremely big, competitive. Hue said he has ability to make plays down the field, 3-down tight end— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) April 28, 2017
#Browns Sashi Brown said 2018 first-round pick acquired could be used to trade for a veteran QB. But no plan in place right now to do so.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) April 28, 2017
Best Talent Still Available
Because the Browns gave up No. 33 to get Njoku, the Browns’ first pick on Friday will be past the half-way point of the second round at No. 52 overall. They also still own the first pick of round 3 (No. 65 overall) -- those are their only two picks on Friday. Here are the top players remaining on of cumulative big board heading into Day 2 (original ranking on the left, player on the right):
17 - DL Malik McDowell
24 - RB Dalvin Cook
26 - S Budda Baker
27 - CB Jourdan Lewis
29 - OG Forrest Lamp
31 - OT Cam Robinson
32 - CB Chidobe Awuzie
33 - CB Kevin King
34 - QB Deshone Kizer
35 - CB Sidney Jones
36 - OL Dorian Johnson
37 - S Obi Melifonwu
40 - LB Tyus Bowser
43 - S Marcus Williams
45 - RB Joe Mixon
47 - DB Quincy Wilson
48 - OLB Tim Williams
49 - ILB Zach Cunningham
50 - OL Pat Elflein
52 - CB Teez Tabor
Miss Our Day 1 Coverage?
We did live blogs for 16 hours straight across three different posts. You can re-live them all here if you missed anything: