This was originally published at Pencilstorm.com which is the website where Colin posts everything first these days. Please visit.
I just bought my son a Trent Richardson jersey so I am probably taking this latest round of Browns stupidity harder than most, but this trade, as Bob Mould might say, makes no sense at all. Actually, it almost feels like the Browns front office are out to intentionally destroy the franchise. Kind of like the way the U.S House of Representatives actively work to ruin my life. But I digress...
2012 NFL Draft Recap: The Browns trade the 37th overall pick and the #4 pick to move up ONE spot to draft running back Trent Richardson. Draft QB Brandon Weeden #23 in the first road.
Why this is stupid: The NFL is no longer a running league so picking a running back this high is a dubious decision no matter what. The fact that the Browns traded a pick away to a team that didn't have any interest in drafting a running back (Vikings) just to move up one spot is just flat out being taken for suckers.
As for Weeden, his faults were (and are) well documented but basically, the Browns drafted an immobile 29 year old QB who didn't take ONE snap under center in his entire college career to have him play under center and run the West coast offense behind a creaky O line armed with sub-par receivers.
Fast Forward to Now. Browns trade Richardson to Colts for 2014 1st round pick. Probably somewhere 18-28. Browns lose confidence in Weeden finally conceding what everybody else already knew, he isn't a franchise quarterback.
Why this is stupid: Just last year Richardson was good enough for you to trade away a pick to move up one lousy spot and now, just 18 games later, you trade him for a late first round pick? And you get no player in return when your roster needs bodies at multiply positions. Ugh.
"Ok, smart guy, what would you do?"
I'm just some dude at a coffee shop but I am going to unlock the secret of the NFL Draft for the Browns front office. It has been statistically proven that there is ZERO difference in production between the top three players taken at their position in the NFL draft. Yes, you read that right, there is no difference in productivity between the 1st running back taken in the draft versus #2 or #3. This rule applies to all positions. Nerdy number crunching guys have figured all this out, just like 1 + 1 = 2.
What is different is the money and draft picks you have to give up to draft a player #1 at his position. It is more expensive to draft high and in a league with a salary cap, this matters. So, identify the top three players at a position of need, and make sure you get one of those, preferably #3 because you will pay less and get the same production. Follow?
EX: 2012 Draft Browns took Trent Richardson #3 overall. The next two running backs taken were Doug Martin at #31 and David Wilson #32.
Brandon Weeden was the 4th QB off the board. Not a spot where you would typically find a franchise QB . Taken before him were Andrew Luck, RG3 and Ryan Tannehill
So in keeping with the top 3 rule, the Browns should have drafted Ryan Tannehill and Doug Wilson and they would still have had the #37 pick to spend on somebody useful and spent less money giving them more flexibility with roster moves.
If you want to learn more about all this mucky-muck, pick up a copy of the book Scorecasting. It's essay on the NFL Draft is a must read. Man, I wish some of those dumb jocks running the Browns bothered to read a book once and while.
It's not all doom and gloom though. On the upside, the Browns are now well positioned for 2014 and with two first round picks they should be able to finally fill those two nagging positions of need QB and RB. Oh wait, just last year we had two first round picks last year and we drafted a QB and RB. Oh well.
Colin Gawel blasted this out with coffee shop customers in his ear, so If you want something better than a rush job, please visit Grantland.