- The Cleveland Browns traded the 12th pick in the draft last year to the Houston Texans for a 2018 first-round pick.
- That 2018 pick from the Texans is now the fourth pick in the draft after the Texans struggled following Deshaun Watson’s injury.
- The Browns now own the first and fourth picks in the draft and could add two franchise players to help a roster that just went 0-16.
Trading the pick that became Dehshaun Watson hasn’t looked good for the Cleveland Browns so far, but there’s still a chance for it to work out.
During the 2017 NFL Draft, the Browns traded the No. 12 pick to the Houston Texans for the 25th overall pick and a 2018 first-rounder. The Texans used that pick on Watson, who lit up the NFL before tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the season.
The Browns were criticized for that trade as they stumbled through an 0-16 season and struggled, once again, to get any sort of competent quarterback play. The optics were even worse as the year before they traded the second overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, who used it on Carson Wentz, another young star quarterback.
However, Watson’s injury helped the Browns in a way. After Watson got injured, the Texans went just 1-9, to finish the year 4-12 overall. As a result, the Browns will now have the No. 1 pick (their own) in the 2018 draft and the fourth overall pick courtesy of the Texans.
With a quarterback draft class that includes Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and likely Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, the Browns will have their pick at any of the highly coveted quarterbacks, plus another top player in the top four.
Additionally, the Browns have three second-round picks, which could help them bolster their depth.
Of course, the draft is a crapshoot and the Browns will have to nail those picks to make any kind of progress next season. But with Myles Garrett, last year’s top pick, on defense, and some intriguing players like safety Jabrill Peppers, tight end David Njoku, and wide receiver Josh Gordon, the Browns could add some depth and talent to a roster that badly needs it.
After an 0-16 season, the Browns need all of the help they can get, and they’ll have the chance to begin building promising core around Garrett and their two top-four picks this year.