The Cleveland Browns traded out of the No. 4 pick in Thursday night’s NFL Draft, moving down five spots and acquiring 2015 first and fourth-round picks from the Buffalo Bills.
A future first-rounder from a Bills team that isn’t one player away to move down five spots.
New Browns general manager Ray Farmer started one-for-one on his quest to become drafting genius.
Farmer made another trade four picks later, giving up a fifth-rounder to move up one spot — he obviously felt it necessary, for whatever reason — and draft Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert at No. 8.
Farmer went from a home run to a player with home-run potential, a tall, fast corner whose production at the college level is overshadowed by his upside but still put together a pretty impressive highlight reel.
The drafting of Gilbert is a sign that Farmer understands the NFL is a passing league. However, he passed on quarterback Johnny Manziel — and every other quarterback in this draft besides Blake Bortles, who went No. 3 to Jacksonville — twice to take Gilbert.
That’s more than a little risky.
Still, the Browns are very much winning at this stage. They still hold pick Nos. 26 and 35 and stole a first-round pick for 2015. Nothing that happened tonight or tomorrow was going to make the Browns a contender for any real prizes in 2014, so adding another first-rounder for next year made all the sense in the world.
It could pay dividends, too. Maybe the Browns will hold two high picks again next year; maybe they won’t. Right now, though, they’ve done well for themselves while knowing there’s still plenty of work to do.