CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns and the Texans are still wheeling and dealing, even after their blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson in which the Browns sent six picks to Houston — including three first rounders.
On Day 2 of the Draft, the Browns traded their No. 44 overall pick — their top selection in this draft after the Watson traded — to the Texans for No. 68 in the third round, and Nos. 108 and 124 in the fourth round.
It meant the Browns didn’t have either a first or second-round pick in this draft, marking the second time in Browns history it’s happened. 2008 was the first. The trade came two picks after former Browns personal exec Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, now GM of the Vikings, traded up with the Colts at No. 42 to draft Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.
The Browns had their eye on Booth, and may have decided to trade out of the pick when he was gone. The Texans used the Browns’ former No. 44 on receiver John Metchie III from Alabama. The Browns also liked Metchie, but obviously not enough to take him at 44 and pass on the extra picks. They also did a lot of work on Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon, who went to the Bears at No. 39.
In moving out of the pick, the Browns passed on Georgia receiver George Pickens, who had character concerns and ultimately went to the Steelers at No. 52, where he’ll pair with their new quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Browns also passed on receivers such as Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore (Chiefs, No. 54, Purdue’s David Bell and Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce (Colts, No. 53).
The Browns also traded away from edge-rushers such as Nik Bonnito of Oklahoma and Drake Jackson of USC.
The trade gives the Browns pick 68, 78, and 99 on Friday, and six picks on Day 3 of the draft Saturday: 108, 118, 124 in the fourth, 202 in the sixth, 223 and 246 in the seventh. Their only original pick on Day 3 is 118.
In the two trades with Houston, the Browns are now down only three picks instead of five.
They might now package some of their picks to trade up, or perhaps include some in the Baker Mayfield trade talks with the Panthers, which continued on Friday.
Cleveland.com reported on Friday afternoon that the Panthers were still pursuing Mayfield, and still trying to determine if it was the right move. With most of the quarterbacks still on the board as the second round wound down, the Panthers were also likely contemplating climbing back up to draft one.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler also reported during the second round that some in the Panthers organization are “simply not sold” on Mayfield. One who didn’t like him coming out in the draft is new Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, but his opinion may have changed some during Mayfield’s up and down four seasons.
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