For Those Who Say Teams Should Always Trade Down…

such as frustrating articles like this one, I give you the Cleveland Browns:

It’s all fine and good to get more draft picks, but you also have to, you know, pick the right players with them.  And while there’s always a strong element of luck involved in the draft that having many picks indemnifies against, there’s also a whole lot of college tape to study to figure out who the best players for your system should be.  Teams spend money on college scouting departments for a reason.

And there could be danger signs for the Browns’ latest mega tradedown, as well.  In exchange for the position where Sammy Watkins was drafted (or where Odell Beckham Jr. should have been drafted), the Browns got Justin Gilbert (who is well on the road to bustdom), Cameron Erving (when the Browns were already completely stacked on their O-line), and Ibraheim Campbell (still has yet to replace the 30 year old Donte Whitner, but might be the most promising short term pick of the bunch).

Finally, a recent pet peeve of mine, as you may know, is that trading down makes little sense for rosters that are stacked, like the Broncos.  Racking up more draft picks would have likely meant that more of the players used on those picks wouldn’t have made the team anyway.  Take this year for example–even with the Broncos burning two 5ths to move up and get Shane Ray, it is quite possible that a 5th rounder (Lorenzo Doss) and two (admittedly compensatory) 7th rounders (Josh Furman and Taurean Nixon) won’t be making this team.  One could easily make the argument that the Broncos should have tried to execute a second tradeup to insure the services of another player they really wanted.

Hopefully this cautionary tale will force people to approach this issue with more nuance.