By WC Peters
Someone go arrest John Dorsey, he is making moves and stealing players while holding onto their key assets. The last 24 hours were unbelievable for Browns fan. They got arguably the best wide receiver on the trade market, a serviceable veteran QB that is going to be handed the keys to an explosive offense, and a good corner to help out the back end of the defense that was awful last year. All of those things happened and they haven’t even hit free agency yet. Then the Browns completed a trade with the Patriots sending Danny Shelton to them for a 3rd round pick in 2019. All in all, I like every move and I believe they just got significantly better on the offensive side of the ball while addressing a glaring need on defense.
In 24 hours the Browns acquired:
QB Tyrod Taylor
WR Jarvis Landry
CB Damarious Randall
Packer’s 4th and 5th in 2018
Patriots 3rd in 2019
They gave up:
2018 3rd round pick
2018 4th round pick
2019 7th round pick
QB Deshone Kizer
2018 4th & 5th
DT Danny Shelton
The Browns clearly won the day, all the while hanging on to both top 5 picks and two of their three second-round picks this year. They got better on both sides of the ball. I was told that the Browns did not get that much better, but I think with the additions they’re the second-best team in the division and at least a .500 team if not a wildcard team, all by acquiring a few guys and keeping their top 5 picks and still being $88 million under the cap.
The offense had a few weapons last year, but no real trigger man. They added WR Jarvis Landry to go along with Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman on the outside. They have a good running back Duke Johnson. The only thing they needed was a trigger man to go drive this machine and John Dorsey, the Browns GM, went out and traded for Tyrod Taylor. What I like most about Taylor is that he does not turn the football over, which is usually the only offensive category the Browns are competent. Taylor wasn’t an obvious choice, but he is young enough that they do not have to jump at a QB with the first pick and can wait until pick four or maybe even the second round, which I think is where one of the top 5 QB’s will fall. In my mock draft, I had the Browns taking Saquon Barkley at one and Minkah Fitzpatrick at four, and after these moves I feel even more strongly that Barkley at one is the only move to really make that offense awesome.
I have been reading people comparing Saquon Barkley to Adrian Peterson and that is not a fair comparison. Peterson needs the ball handed to him 20-30 times to be effective, whereas Barkley can run the ball, but he can also catch the ball out of the backfield and while lined up as a receiver. With the moves they made, and if they add Barkley, they will have the firepower to score enough points to keep them in every game. No one will be able to cover the three wideouts and their talented TE David Njuko, who burst onto the scene last year as a rookie averaging 12.1 yards per catch.
The defense was arguably the best unit on the team last year with the worst position group, the defensive backfield. The Browns would routinely get carved up by opposing offenses, giving up 25 points per game and at least 30 points 6 times. The Browns addressed their CB problem by trading beleaguered rookie QB Deshone Kizer to the Packers and acquiring Damarious Randall, also swapping picks in the fourth and fifth rounds. This gives them a guy that can guard the other team’s number 1 wide receiver and lockdown half the field. I would look for the Browns to continue to address the backend of the defense via free agency, trade, or the draft.
They traded DT Danny Shelton to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick, which weakens their defensive line, and I was not a big fan of this move. In my opinion, Shelton was a young player that was the best interior defensive lineman on the team and was getting better every week. Not sure what the thinking on this was, but I hope they address the defensive line in the draft. Maybe trade back up into the first round for Da’Ron Payne?
When they hired this front office I was pretty excited for them because it has a lot of experience, successful experience. They’ve hit home runs so far and here is hoping they continue the trend because the people of Cleveland deserve a winner.