Thank you to the Chicago Bears. Because of their trade into the second spot of the NFL Draft Thursday night, the Browns were saved before they could make the biggest mistake of the draft. Taking North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
After the Browns used unusual sanity, taking defensive end Myles Garrett from Texas A & M with the first pick, the Bears made their move. To jump up one slot from No. 3 to No. 2, the Bears gave up a third and a fourth-round pick this year, plus a 2018 third-round pick to the 49ers to get their guy.
Then came the trade everyone expected the Browns to make, just in a different direction. The Houston Texans traded up to draft Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson, giving up their No. 25 pick and next year’s first rounder to the Browns in exchange for No. 12 overall. A move that upset Browns fans all over, yet made sense for the team that needs talent more than a quarterback right now.
With the 25th pick, the Browns took #Jabrill Peppers, a four-way player that can play DB, receiver, and return kickoffs and punts. All areas the Browns need help with. Keep in mind Peppers has a lot of up side and plays the secondary like Troy Polamalu, without the hair.
The final move saw the Browns move back into the first round with a trade of the 33rd and 108th pick to the Green Bay Packers for the 29th pick, which turned into Miami Tight End David Njoku. During the 2016 season, he had 43 receptions for nearly 700 yards and eight touchdowns. He will pair and learn from current TE Gary Barnidge.
The Bears move was a shocker. But it makes sense for San Francisco. They are looking at Brian Hoyer as their QB this year, and a possibility of Washington QB Kirk Cousins signing with them as a free agent next year, reuniting with former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Bears GM Ryan Pace signed former Tampa Bay signal caller Mike Glennon, to a three-year, $45 million deal this off season. Then immediately pronounced him the starter next season, but the Bears can part with him after one year for little financial penalty.
How did the Bears trade help the Browns? It kept Browns owner Jimmy Haslem from interfering. He didn’t have the chance. The Browns were never in the running. It helps Trubisky because now can go outside his hometown of Cleveland, be just another quarterback on the roster for the Bears and grow into the role. Without having the pressure of playing in his first year.
Overall, the first round was a success for Cleveland. It gave them the opportunity to improve their team on both sides of the ball. The Browns now have two first-rounders, three second-rounders, two fourth-rounders and two sixth-rounders in 2018, plus all their remaining picks this year. Technically they only gave up the 108th pick for all that. And now they have three elite prospects. Not a bad haul for a team that is being lambasted for not drafting a quarterback.
ONE RANDOM THOUGHT….. Last night was the first NFL draft in over 20 years that Chris Berman didn’t anchor for ESPN. He was replaced by Trey Wingo. I was never a fan of “Boomer”, but he knew when to talk, when to stop and let the draft be the show. Wingo forgot that. Wingo talked, sometimes about nothing, and then ESPN would go to commercial when the pick was in, delaying the festivities. So although I would give the Browns an “A” for their efforts, I give ESPN a hearty “F”.
Dave Mitchell co-hosts with Mark Donahue the UST talk show “Ohio Baseball Weekly,” highlighting the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. The Show is at 9pm every Monday evening. He also provides play by play of sports. If you have a comment on this or any other article,email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @ohbbcohost or @ultsportstalk.