BEREA, OHIO— If the 2016 NFL Draft is a game of cards, the Browns went with the move they felt would deliver the highest future payout.
Though given one chance to pull a king, Cleveland’s Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown and the rest of the Browns’ front office felt that multiple chances to turnover a high card was more worthwhile.
“We were tempted to stay on the clock,” Brown said, following the deal that sent the No. 2 overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 8 overall pick and five other selections. “We felt like the offer to move back just six spots for the picks we were able to acquire was the better bet.”
Of course, the king in this scenario would be a quarterback— namely Carson Wentz or Jared Goff— but even before the trade, it wasn't a sure thing that Cleveland would land that card.
“There’s no guarantees, even if you take a (quarterback) at one or two,” Brown said. “We felt like where our roster was, the better decision was to acquire the first next year, the second in 2018 and two additional picks here and still be picking at No. 8.”
While it seems clear that the Browns have made a decision in which quantity has taken even the slightest priority over quality, the team feels it can benefit from the volume of selections it has acquired.
Now, the Browns can accumulate talented players while filling the many holes on the rebuilding roster.
“One thing we like about having a lot of picks is you don’t feel the inherent pressure that if you feel like at a position you’re a little void of talent that you have to reach for a player,” Brown said. “We don’t want to get to a point where we take lesser talent just because we need to address a position.”
There are other avenues through which the Browns can fill holes and acquire talent, but the team wants to make the most of the opportunities provided by the NFL Draft.
That's why Cleveland has put itself in this specific position.
“We do believe in building through the draft,” Brown said. “Whenever we have an opportunity to have very valuable draft capital, not only a lot but very valuable draft capital, an extra one and an extra two in the next three years.”
While the Browns say that they want to make the most of all of the opportunities in front of them, they know the draft is, at times, a crapshoot.
They've prepared thoroughly to bring the best players possible to Cleveland, but things in the draft rarely go exactly as planned.
“Certainly we hope to have three or four guys come in and be starting for us in September,” Brown said. “If that doesn't happen, we're not panicked at all.”
As they sit at the table and turn over the cards next week, the Browns are sure to receive feedback in one way or another.
If they hit with a face card or two, they’ll look smart as they reap the rewards of their haul.
If they flip over fours, well, they’ll live up to their label as the dealer collects.
No matter the outcome, have they with few chips or with many, the Browns have no plans on leaving said table any time soon.
“We have a plan we're going to stick to it,” Brown said. “We're confident it'll produce results.”
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.