The Cleveland Browns sent a clear signal to the rest of the NFL with last week’s trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
The trade cost the Browns starting safety Jabrill Peppers along with their first-round pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft - the No. 17 overall selection - and a third-round selection (No. 95 overall).
It might be a wee bit disappointing to see the Browns without a first-round selection come the night of the draft, but general manager John Dorsey paid what looks to be a fair price for Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four times in his five years in the league.
The deal looks even better, if that is possible, if a report from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein is correct. Zierlein, appearing on the Move the Sticks podcast, said that Dorsey had extra incentive to make the deal because the Browns believe they would have been on the outside looking in if they stayed at No. 17 (quote from 247Sports):
“I had heard that the Browns considered there to be 15 players that are first round players in this year’s draft. That sounds about right. About 15 guys who are first round picks. Analytics is always about quantifying value so, for them, that 17th pick, they considered that a second round player generally speaking. In the Browns’ mind, they considered they were giving up a second round player and not a first round player. That makes even more sense right now.”
That seems like a little bit of a stretch because if the Browns had stayed at No. 17, Dorsey would have been enthusiastically singing the praises of whichever player Cleveland selected.
But if the Browns’ scouting is accurate, then it is another feather in Dorsey’s cap as Cleveland was able to get one of the game’s top wide receivers for Peppers and a couple of second-day draft picks. And even if Giants general manager Dave Gettleman somehow manages to not screw up that pick, the Browns still payed a fair price for Beckham and are a better team today than they were a week ago.
Which, when you come right down to it, is all that really matters.