As they watched the Kansas City Chiefs dash those hopes, the Browns went into full trade-down mode. Once that failed to come to fruition, there was a group of 5-7 players rated in roughly the same area on their board.
Haden was ultimately the pick, and the Browns selected someone the club feels can be a lockdown corner opposite Eric Wright, and someone they feel can make Wright a better player. And vice versa.
To paraphrase the esteemed Lane Adkins on the night of the pick, this may not have been a sexy pick, but it was a solid one.
Browns Source Take on the Pick: "Haden has the talent and potential to be left alone on that island. He fits our scheme and what we're trying to do very, very well."
T.J. Ward, S, Oregon – I'll be completely blunt here. This pick confused the hell out of me at the time, and has still – a few hours later – left me thinking, "WTF are these people doing?" So head-scratching, in fact, that it will take more than organizational spin to convince me otherwise. Only time will be able to heal the wounds created by said head-scratching.
People will say, "well, if it weren't for the medical issues, this is around the spot he'd have been taken."
That's the thing, though. You can't just set aside the medical issues when discussing this pick that – at first blush – looks like a helluva rrreeeaaach. Time will tell, but, in the here and now, this looks like a suspect pick at best.
I'm rooting for the kid, though, because I'm all for a player that brings the lumber to the field in the AFC North.
Browns Source Take on the Pick: "[The medical staff] had little to no concern [over Ward's injury history]. And his play on the field speaks for itself."
Hardesty's immense natural talent at the position allows him to have a tremendous upside, and he could serve as either a workhorse or as part of a one-two punch with Jerome Harrison.
Provided he stays healthy, of course. And provided that Harrison is still on the roster.
Browns Source Take on the Pick: "Everyone [in the war room] was in agreement on this one. We needed to move up to get him before somebody else did. Upside off the charts at the position."
Perhaps the best part of this pick? It doesn't have to be defining pick because of where it was made.
Attribute it to balls the size of… well… Holmgren, attribute it to luck, attribute it to whatever; the fact is the organization got a player they wanted 50 or so picks after they thought he might be gone.
There is an infrastructure in place – Holmgren, Gil Haskell, Jake Delhomme – that is very much suited for a young QB to grow and mature and become a very solid player at the NFL level. And McCoy is the kind of person and player who will take full advantage of that infrastructure.
Browns Source Take on the Pick: "[The slide] was unexpected. You don't get much better value at [the QB] position than this. I know [Holmgren] is feeling pretty good tonight."