By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Here are my takes on the Browns’ options with the No. 4 pick of the draft from my appearance on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:
I found it really interesting the last week that teams like the St. Louis Rams are directly quoted as mentioning the Browns as a possible trade partner.
Typically, that used to be taboo. You didn’t really mention the business and the deals and possible deals that might have transpired or you attempted to put together unless they really happened.
You see a lot of people talking specifically about possibly trading to the fourth spot to get guys like Justin Blackmon or Ryan Tannehill. I just find it really interesting that other teams are talking about in-house business for the Browns.
The last collective bargaining agreement, which invoked a really hard salary cap on the rookies, has made it advantageous to have these top-five, top-ten first picks. And it’s not cost-prohibitive like it was when St. Louis took Sam Bradford for $50-million dollars, as opposed to last year when Cam Newton was signed for less than half that amount as the number one overall pick.
People want these premium picks now, and they’re more aggressive at trying to come up and get a targeted player. And because the 13 picks that the Browns have in this year’s draft give us so much leeway and for our need to really try to get better at multiple positions, it really does give us a lot of flexibility as to where you want to end up. You might see teams not go as crazy as Washington did in going from No. 6 to No. 2, but being more aggressive and trying to move up to get a targeted player that fits the need in their team.
There’s no doubt you can pick up a premium second- or third-round pick and a premium second- or third-round pick next year on top of it for moving back a couple spots. So that really does add a lot of leverage to it.
I really think the Jacksonville, at No. 7, is a sleeper team. Gene Smith, the Jaguars’ general manager, has shown a high propensity to be aggressive and move up in the draft. The Jaguars absolutely need a playmaking receiver, too. So if they fall in love with Blackmon, they will do anything to get in front of St. Louis themselves for that. And teams like the Seattle Seahawks, at No. 12, have also shown they want to do things to move up for players.
There just are a lot of options, and this is where the scouting and your study and preparation are imperative. A lot of us are focused on the top-five picks, the top-10 and the top-15 picks. This is when your analysis of the depth of receiver and the depth at running back – the top-tiered receivers and running backs that could be available in the second round.
So that analysis, that due diligence is imperative.
Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and ClevelandBrowns.com
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