by Justin Carter
Last night, I finally went to see Draft Day. I was a little late to the game (total # of people in the theater: 3), but I thought– why not? I loved Major League, so maybe another Cleveland sports movie would be great as well?
Okay, I was little wrong in my estimation.
Here [spoilers] is my biggest issue with the movie: Kevin Costner gets lauded for the draft day moves he makes, but they just– aren’t good moves.
Here’s the breakdown. Costner trades three years of first round picks for the #1 overall pick. With that #1 pick, he drafts the linebacker that was projected to still be there at seven. But don’t worry– Costner has a plan. He sends Jacksonville three second round picks for the #6. Then, he tricks Seattle into giving him back all three of his first rounders & a return man for that #6. So, now the Browns have traded three second round picks for the #7 pick in the draft & a punt returner. It could be worse, sure, but HEY the Browns have another first rounder & their first rounders in the future back! So, at 7, who do the Browns pick?
A running back.
In 2012, the Browns picked Trent Richardson third. In the real 2014 draft, the first running back went off the board at the end of round two. So, the Browns could have just NEVER made a trade & picked up their defensive guy at seven, then used the second rounder on a back, tried to find a returner around the 5th or 6th, & STILL HAD SECOND ROUND PICKS FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.
Looking at Over The Cap, if we go by the 2013 numbers, the difference between taking Vontae Mack at #1 vs the #7 pick they would have used on him is a move from spending ~14.5 million to ~22 million. In addition, the #40 pick that Cleveland would have used in round two (probably on a different running back) slots in at 5 milion. Instead, they’ll pay that 14.5 million mentioned earlier for a guy who, well– probably won’t be as good as the actor who portrayed him (HI ARIAN FOSTER). In 2014, you just can’t afford to send an extra 10 million on a running back, not when so many solid backs are picked late in the draft.
Early in the movie, Costner asks his capologist if they can afford the #1 pick. She says she’ll have to make a few moves (i.e. releasing some veterans to free up space) for it to work. So, now, if they have to afford both the #1 & the #7? They’re going to have to free up space somehow, which is going to result in more holes that will have to be filled by UDFAs or low-end free agents.
&, let’s not forget that they’re still relying on a QB who is COMING OFF OF A KNEE INJURY to lead the team. Sure, the trainer says he’s in the best shape of his life, but– it’s the NFL. A player with a knee issue is going to take some shots to the knee. Bernard Pollard is not going to show him any mercy. & if he has a good season? He’s going to need a raise. Where’s that money going to come from?
So, congrats Kevin Costner– you’ve kept the Browns in mediocrity. Instead, you just payed a lot of money to add the equivalent of Anthony Barr &– uhh, Trent Richardson?– to a team that will led by Brian Hoyer.