CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Browns and Texans are still running and trading, even after their huge success with Deshaun Watson, where the Browns sent six picks to Houston – including three first-rounders.
On Day 2 of the draft, the Browns swapped their overall No. 44 – their top pick in this draft after the Watson deal – for the Texans for No. 68 in the third round and No. 108 and 124 in the draft. fourth round.
That meant the Browns had neither a choice in the first nor second round of this draft, marking the second time in the Browns history that it has happened. 2008 was the first. The deal came two picks after former Browns chief of staff Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, now GM of the Vikings, swapped with the Colts as No. 42 to draft Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.
The Browns had their eye on Booth, and may have decided to switch out of the election when he was gone. The Texans used the Browns’ former No. 44 on receiver John Metchie III of Alabama. The Browns also liked Metchie, but obviously not enough to take him at 44 and pass on the extra choices. They also did a lot of work on Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon, who went to the Bears as No. 39.
When the Browns moved out of the election, the Browns passed Georgia receiver George Pickens, who had grade issues and eventually went to the Steelers at No. 52, where he will pair up with their new quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Browns also passed on receivers like Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore (Chiefs, No. 54, Purdues David Bell and Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce (Colts, No. 53).
The Browns also switched away from edge-rushers like Nik Bonnito of Oklahoma and Drake Jackson of USC.
The trade gives Brown’s picks 68, 78 and 99 on Friday, and six picks on Day 3 of the draft Saturday: 108, 118, 124 in fourth, 202 in sixth, 223 and 246 in seventh. Their only original choice on day 3 is 118.
In the two deals with Houston, the Browns are now only down with three picks instead of five.
They may now pack some of their choices to swap, or perhaps include some in the Baker Mayfield trade negotiations with the Panthers, which continued Friday.
Cleveland.com reported Friday afternoon that the Panthers were still pursuing Mayfield and still trying to determine if that was the right move. With most quarterbacks still on the board as the second round ended, the Panthers probably also considered climbing up to draft 1.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler also reported during the second round that some in the Panthers organization “simply are not sold” at Mayfield. One who did not like that he came out in the draft is the new Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, but his opinion may have changed somewhat during Mayfields up and down four seasons.
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