Browns' decision to move down raises questions about WR plans

Posted April 28, 2011 @ 11:53 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

The Browns' decision to trade back in the first round on Thursday night was not too surprising, considering they tipped how they would play their hand, with team president Mike Holmgren telling The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer that if they were to move in Round One, it would be back, not forward, from No. 6.

That they moved back 21 spots in Round One, with Atlanta trading five picks to take over the No. 6 pick to select Alabama WR Julio Jones, might be telling. What does it say that the Browns — a team lacking in blue-chip talent — moved back toward the far end of the round?

Perhaps the Browns believed they were presented an offer they could not refuse — the Falcons, after all, did surrender their second- and fourth-round picks in this draft as well as their first- and fourth-round selections in 2012. Or maybe the Browns simply didn't like their options at No. 6.

Either way, the Browns are in good position to bolster their depth in this draft. They now have 10 picks in 2011, including a pair of second-round selections. Also, the run on quarterbacks in the first half in Round One could push a few prospects further down the draft board than anyone could have reasonably expected.

The other interesting aspect of the Browns' trade: the Falcons have a No. 1 wideout in Roddy White, but they coveted Jones nonetheless. The Browns don't have a receiver of White's caliber, and some might say they don't have a wideout of Jones' caliber, either.

The Browns' plans at wideout bear watching: they will throw more to the wide receivers this season. Will they add to the position later in the draft? Could they look to acquire veteran talent once the league year begins? Will Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie retain prominent roles in the offense? One thing seems certain: the Browns passing on Jones doesn't hurt the prospects of the wideouts currently on the roster.