As Kevin already reported, Cleveland swapped with Buffalo, getting their first rounder next year. They then traded a fifth rounder to go from #9 to #8 and take Justin Gilbert, a CB from Oklahoma State. He’s both fast and big, but apparently has some issues with tackling and occasionally gets too eager in his press coverage. He’s also a pretty solid returner, which Cleveland could use. Why they traded up to get him at #8 is beyond me, but a fifth rounder is a perfectly acceptable cost to pay. Dawgs by Nature was a bit puzzled, but I’m personally excited to have somebody alongside Joe Haden. Tremendous pick (and even better trade), A+.
Then, our second first rounder. First, we moved up from #26 to #22 by trading a third rounder this year. This was a head scratcher. The only QB off the board by #22 was Blake Bortles (who Jacksonville took at #3). #22 was Philly’s pick, and I think they have confidence in Nick Foles, at least for now. So, the trade made sense from Philly’s perspective. But for Cleveland? #23 was Kansas City — okay, a possibly place for a QB to land — but #24 and #25 were Cincinnati and San Diego. The Bengals seem to like Andy Dalton for whatever reason, and I doubt Philip Rivers is going anywhere. For the trade itself, C+, unless they knew something about KC we didn’t.
Our pick at #22 is somebody nobody has ever heard of, ever, in the history of football. I’ve never written about him and neither has anybody else. (Okay, in case you missed the draft — we took Johnny Manziel.) I have a friend who went to Texas A&M, who has repeatedly threatened me if Cleveland ruins Manziel “like they ruined all their other quarterbacks.” (My response: “When we have an actual QB to ruin, I’ll let you know.”)
Terry Pluto was pessimistic about the pick, and his write up still worries me. Johnny Football is exciting, but he’s small and a scrambler. There’s also mentioning (as Pluto does) that #22 is a bad place to take a QB if you’re Cleveland (hi, Brady and Brandon!) However, with high risk comes high reward, and Johnny Football will put asses in seats and sell jerseys. If the same stuff he pulled in college works in the NFL, fantastic. I don’t want him to start this year, but if Hoyer makes even one slip-up, I’m sure the Cleveland fans will demand it. I’d personally like to see some of Johnny Football this year — put him in some Wildcat packages, maybe? — but I don’t want him starting before Week 8 unless there are a slew of injuries. I’ll call this pick a B+, because if you’re going to make a risky move at QB, the second half of the 1st round is the time to do it. I still would have preferred Teddy Bridgewater, who Minnesota got at #32, because there’s no way Houston doesn’t take a QB at #33.
Cleveland needs an offensive lineman and at least one linebacker on Day 2. Another wideout wouldn’t be amiss either. We pick at #35 and #71 (we also would have picked at #83, thanks to a trade last year with the Steelers, but that was the pick we gave Philly to take Manziel at #22.) One of them absolutely has to be a lineman, though.