Speculation involving the Cleveland Browns moving up in the 2021 NFL Draft isn’t new, as many a mock draft as GM Andrew Berry creeping up into the high 20s to select his guy–usually a cornerback such as Northwestern’s Greg Newsome.
ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi recently wrote (subscription) about what it would take to move enough to secure South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn. Grossi contends the Browns would have to trade up as high as 12th to get him.
To move up 14 spots, Grossi wrote the cost would be “in the neighborhood of second- and third-round picks,” in addition to the Browns first-round selection (No. 26).
Dealing the second-round pick seems crazy and even Grossi wrote that he doesn’t think Berry will part with it. That said, Grossi admitted he’d “seriously consider” the trade because it’s his belief that Horn is the missing piece to the defense.
Past second round picks have included: 2020, Grant Delpit; 2019; Greedy Williams; 2018, Austin Corbett, Nick Chubb; 2017, DeShone Kizer; 2016, Emmanuel Ogbah; 2015, Nate Orchard; 2014, Joel Bitonio; 2013, no second-round pick; 2012, Mitchell Schwartz; 2011, Jabaal Sheard, Greg Little; 2010, T.J. Ward, Montario Hardesty.
Nick Chubb is the big name here, while Joel Bitonio and Mitchell Schwartz were great picks of previous regimes who turned into longtime starters.. Delpit and Williams were hurt last season, but they were supposed to play significant snaps. Other names here obviously went bust, but it doesn’t change the fact that you should be able to find key starters in the second round.
To Grossi’s point, if you’re going for the Super Bowl, and this should be the goal of the Browns in 2021 and 2022, you might make the move. Would you rather have a player who can be good, like Williams, or player who can play corner for the next 7-8 seasons, such as Horn.
When making this deal, also remember that the Browns were usually picking in the high 30s in the second round. This year, their second-round pick is No. 57.