The Cleveland Browns stockpiled four additional picks after trading the second overall selection to the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the draft. The Browns are adding to their collection after dealing the eighth overall pick, which they received from the Eagles in the initial trade, to the Tennessee Titans.
The deal netted the Browns a third-round pick in this year's draft and a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, where they already have an extra first-round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Browns also sent a sixth-round pick this year to the Titans.
There were hints in the days leading up to the draft that this could happen. Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said via the team's website that the Browns were definitely willing to deal the eighth overall pick, dependent upon a couple of factors.
"It is the same calculus in terms of what someone is willing to offer and the players that could be available to us at that spot," Brown said.
The Browns have a lot of roster needs, particularly after a free agency period that wasn't particularly kind to the team. They released troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel, who they selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Browns saw receiver Travis Benjamin head to the San Diego Chargers as a free agent. Along the offensive line, Cleveland lost starting center Alex Mack to the Atlanta Falcons and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz to the Chiefs.
On the other side of the ball, free safety Tashaun Gipson has moved on to the Jacksonville Jaguars and linebacker Karlos Dansby is now with the Cincinnati Bengals. Strong safety Donte Whitner remains a free agent after being released by the Browns, and that's another position they'll need to fill.
Sashi Brown said that the team will be looking to draft the best player available at any given position regardless of need, and with so many needs, it's a strategy that makes sense.
"We don't want to get to a place where we're thinking of the current needs of the roster and pass over better football players," Brown said. "So you take the guy you feel like can best impact you winning and we certainly feel like that's kind of our mantra and our central theme."
It makes it easier to fill needs with the best players available when a team has stockpiled as many picks as the Browns are working with after these trades.
The Titans originally owned the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, but traded down 14 selections to No. 15 overall and received a haul from the Los Angeles Rams. The move allowed the Titans to grab offensive tackle Jack Conklin, the second tackle off the board after Ronnie Stanley went No. 6 to the Baltimore Ravens.