Cleveland Browns: Trading down the best option in 2019 NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The idea of the Cleveland Browns trading down in the first round may seem like a cop out, but may be a move that pays off in the long run.

The Cleveland Browns should think long and hard about trading down in this spring’s NFL Draft.

The Browns pick 17th overall. Mel Kiper Jr. had the Browns taking Clemson defensive tackle  Dexter Lawrence.

More from Factory of Sadness

Lawrence is a fine prospect. The Browns have a need on the defensive line.


Perhaps the scar of burning a pick on Danny Shelton still feels fresh, but should the defensive line be the place the Browns invest a first-round pick.

If you want to frame the question differently, ask yourself: “Is the Dexter Lawrence the missing link”

This isn’t to knock Lawrence, rather, it’s speaks o

Analytics and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta still have a major voice within the organization. That much has been learned this offseason.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article, heaping tons of of praise on DePodesta for orchestrating the Browns’ turnaround.

The article documented how the Browns’ analytics department based their strategy on a paper published by the Wharton School of Business in 2013.

Cade Massy and Richard Thaler wrote  “The Loser’s Curse: Decision Making and Market Efficiency in the National Football League Draft.”

To sum it up, NFL teams are impatient and are ripe to be taken advantage of, especially when it comes to draft picks.

"The paper argues that NFL coaches display a high degree of “present bias”—in layman’s terms, impatience. A simple example of such bias: When behavioral economists run experiments asking questions like “Would you rather receive $100 today or $120 one month from today?” they find most people choose the immediate $100, irrationally passing up a quick 20% return. But when both options are far in the future—“Would you rather receive $100 in 12 months or $120 in 13 months?”—subjects are far likelier to wait the extra month."

How’s this play on draft day? Identify the organization who thinks Dexter Lawrence is all that’s missing from a Super Bowl victory and then, basically, rip them off. There’s a lot of teams who believe they are closer than they really are. The research conducted by Thaler and Massy found as much to be true.

This WSJ column was based off the analytical movement, when in reality, this was something Bill Belichick was doing for years, before he was heralded as the greatest coach of all time.

Sometimes it worked out for the former Browns coach, sometimes it didn’t.

That’s where John Dorsey comes into play. Nobody’s putting him on the same level as The Vest, but Cleveland’s GM is putting together a pretty solid history when it comes to player acquisition.

Should the analytics department favor a trade down, why not have confidence that Dorsey can find a good player when the Browns finally do make their first selection, after a trade down, later in the draft?

These are new problems for fans of the Browns.

When you have a quarterback in place, things get easier. More options become available. Teams don’t have to become consumed with finding their quarterback of the future. That can drain a fan base. No one knows that better than Browns’ fans.

Next. Browns: 10 free agents to target in 2019. dark

The Browns are in the rare spot of not picking in the top four, and because of the current state of the team, there are  options worth exploring with the 17th pick.