There was an interesting article on Grantland that recaps the repercussions of the Rams-Redskins draft trade.
Bill Barnwell says that, of all the teams looking for a new QB, he thinks the Browns are in the worst position. He’s probably right. SF is out of contention for Manning after signing Alex Smith for a three year deal (note: I never thought Manning was a good fit anyway), and it seems to be between Arizona and Denver, at the moment, for Manning. Matt Flynn will probably go to Miami. This leaves the Browns with the #4 overall pick but no really great QB to choose from. Barnwell’s solution? The Browns claim Mike Wallace and give the #4 pick to Pittsburgh.
It’s an intriguing notion, I must admit. Mike Wallace is a very capable receiver, there’s no question about that. However, I can’t help but think that going after Wallace, for the #4 pick, seems risky. He’d make Colt McCoy or whoever ends up as the QB when all is said and done better. But would he sign with Cleveland for the long haul? That’s the better question. A #4 pick for one year of Mike Wallace seems kind of silly. If it comes packaged with a reasonable contract extension, I like the move; if it doesn’t I don’t.
Other players that the Browns might go for at #4 include T Matt Kalil (if he’s available), RB Trent Richardson, or going defense again. The Browns need a capable running back, and even if they resign Peyton Hillis, there’s no evidence that’s a good long term move. I like the idea of an RB at #4, but I’m not sure how good Richardson, or if he’s worthy of the pick. If we have to take a player with #4, I’d rather see them take Kalil and fix the right tackle hole.
At this stage? I’d actually like to see the Browns trade down. Stockpile quality picks, turn them into players. The Browns will not make the playoffs with or without Mike Wallace next year. The Browns have a lot of holes still — not as many as we did before Holmgren and Heckert, but still plenty. I am perfectly fine with the following positions: LT, C, one DE, DT, MLB, and one CB. I’d even accept Greg Little if he fixes the drop issues. That still leaves other positions that need a lot of improvement. The defense could use some more quality players — another CB certainly, a pass rusher probably — but going defense again will probably make a lot of people mad. So we trade down. Let’s get some value. Take a couple of offensive players in round one — ideally a T and an RB. Use the second round to find some capable receivers. Future rounds for depth, maybe some more defensive players. Above all, put us in position to evaluate Colt McCoy for one full season with some better talent. Let’s find out if McCoy is part of the problem or part of the future solution.
That’s what I would do, in any case.