After collecting a hoard of extra draft picks from the Philadelphia Eagles to move from No. 2 down to No. 8 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns are reportedly open to moving even farther down the board.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports also reports the team’s targeted players after moving down would be either receiver Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss or offensive lineman Jake Conklin (as a secondary option).
From a purely philosophical standpoint, this strategy is brilliant.
The Browns have more than a few needs on both sides of the ball, especially in the trenches following the departure of two starting offensive linemen during free agency.
In one fell swoop, with a magical draft, Cleveland could make a drastic turnaround in a short period of time.
Already armed with 10 draft picks, another move down the board could potentially yield a couple more or perhaps one this year and one in 2017. On top of this, the Browns aren’t missing out on an opportunity to land a key starter in the first round. And if Robert Griffin III pans out the team has its quarterback, too.
But this is the Browns we’re talking about, and they’re going through a drastic change in leadership for the umpteenth time in the past decade. On top of that, this new leadership just let four key starters walk out the door and reportedly turned off a lot of free agents during the first few weeks of the yearly spectacle.
Who knows if this whole moneyball thing will work in the NFL?
Who knows if Hue Jackson will end up losing his mind trying to work with said moneyball front-office personnel such as Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta?
Having a lot of draft picks doesn’t equate success — just ask Trent Baalke of the San Francisco 49ers.
The Browns are in a fantastic position, but it won’t mean a thing if the men in charge don’t know how to pick players that will work well together within the constructs of a scheme.
At this point, this scribe is giving the new crew the benefit of the doubt, based solely on the fact that there is literally zero evidence to support a judgement, good or bad. But given the history of this seemingly cursed franchise, holding one’s breath waiting for a miracle isn’t the strategy to take.