How much draft value did Browns and Titans gain from trading down?

Tennessee and Cleveland both moved out of the top two picks to acquire extra selections. How much value did each team gain?

| 6 months ago
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How much draft value did Browns and Titans gain from trading down?

The teams initially holding the first two picks in the 2016 NFL draft were more active than any other team during Day 1.

The Titans began the draft at No. 1 overall, but agreed to trade down to No. 15 with the Rams after snagging their franchise QB in 2015. Tennessee clearly wanted to add protection for Marcus Mariota, agreeing on a subsequent deal to move up to No. 8 overall to draft offensive tackle Jack Conklin.

The Browns and their new front office, meanwhile, continued their slide down the board by negotiating that trade with the Titans. Cleveland loaded up on draft picks, and still nabbed the best WR in the draft in Baylor’s Corey Coleman.

Which of these two teams ended up with the better haul? Let’s take a look, starting with a comparison of the compensation each team received for the 15th-overall pick.

For the No. 1-overall pick the Titans received:
2016: No. 15 (Round 1), No. 43 (Round 2), No. 45 (Round 2), No. 76 (Round 3)
2017: First-round pick, third-round pick

For the No. 2-overall pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick the Browns received:
2016: No. 15 (Round 1), No. 76 (Round 3), No. 77 (Round 3), No. 100 (Round 4)
2018: Second-round pick

Value of the No. 15-overall pick

On the face of it, the Titans got a slightly better haul for No. 1 than the Browns did for No. 2. Roughly, the 2017 picks cancel each other out. Both teams received future firsts, while the Browns got a second instead of a third. However, they gave up a fourth in exchange, making the 2017 compensation pretty much even.

The question, therefore, is whether two seconds and a third this year are more valuable than two thirds, a fourth and a 2018 second-round pick.

Titans compensation Browns compensation
No. 15 overallNo. 43 overall (Round 2)No. 45 overall (Round 2)

No. 76 overall (Round 3)

No. 15 overallNo. 76 overall (Round 3)No. 77 overall (Round 3)

No. 100 overall (Round 4)

No. 2018 second-round pick

Considering the picks the Titans received were significantly higher than those the Browns were given, it seems plausible to suggest that their haul is superior. Cleveland received a higher quantity, but they won’t be able to use that resource until two years down the line.

According to the admittedly slightly outdated trade value chart, the Titans received 1,130 points for the 2016 picks they received. The Browns, meanwhile, received just 515 points. The difference between those point tallies is equivalent to the No. 30 pick in Round 1. Obviously the No. 1-overall pick is more valuable than the second, but the perception that there were two franchise quarterbacks in this class reduces that distinction to some extent. The trade compensation alone does not determine success or failure, however.

Titans’ draft haul

Obviously both teams did not pick in the 15th spot. The Titans may have received a better haul for that position in the draft, but they ultimately made a deal with Cleveland, picking Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin at No. 8 overall. In exchange they gave up a third-round pick (No. 76) and the 2017 second-rounder. It’s a modest return for moving up seven spots into the top 10, but one wonders whether the Titans should have been desperate for tackle help in the first place.

LT Taylor Lewan was the Titans’ only effective lineman returning from the unit that saw meaningful action last season. Free-agent addition Ben Jones is an average to below-average center. The Titans still lack a competent starter at guard, even if the tackle position has been addressed. Conklin will likely slot straight in at right tackle, but his inexperience on the right side makes him a strange fit in Tennessee. It’s not always easy to transition from the left to the opposite tackle spot. One wonders whether the Titans may have been better off waiting for the best player available player at No. 15 and used the Day-2 picks they gave up on interior lineman.


After Ronnie Stanley went to Baltimore at No. 6 and Laremy Tunsil’s stock looked to be in a freefal, Tennessee may have concluded that Conklin was the last starting tackle remaining on the board. Both guard spots are in particular need of help, however, and the Titans have neglected a defense with aging edge rushers and concerns in the secondary. Hypothetically, the Titans could have drafted Clemson edge rusher Shaq Lawson, Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs and NC State guard/tackle Joe Thuney instead of Conklin and Clemson edge rusher Kevin Dodd, their eventual second-round pick. In general, is it wise to invest extra resources in plugging a single hole on a struggling front? The Conklin selection ultimately received a B- in our pick grades.

Browns’ draft haul

Cleveland, meanwhile, took Corey Coleman in the middle of the first round. The draft’s most explosive playmaker, Coleman was ninth on our draft board and ranked as the third-best pick in Round 1. The Browns have a load of holes, and saw their long-term strategy pay dividends on Thursday night.

Hue Jackson has a lot of work to do but, assuming Cleveland find a quarterback as effective as Carson Wentz in the draft over the next two years, they will look back on this draft as the beginning of their turnaround. Perhaps Robert Griffin III will respond to play at a level closer to his fantastic 2012 rookie season under the former Bengals offensive coordinator, or maybe Jackson will elevate the play of QB Cody Kessler. That is far from guaranteed. It is also far from guaranteed Cleveland will find themselves in position to take one of the top signal-callers in future years.

Realistically, however, a quarterback was unlikely to succeed given the current talent level of the Browns, especially one as inexperienced as Wentz. Cleveland added one of the best offensive players in the draft at a position of impact, while hoarding resources in the process. Short of finding a long-term solution at the most important position in football, Cleveland’s new front office could not have done a better job.

| Analyst

John joined the PFF team in 2008, providing focused analysis on the NFL draft, team-building strategies, and positional value.

  • McGeorge

    The Browns made out like bandits.
    Assuming they draft ok in 2015 and 2016, and assuming they tank in 2016 so as to get the #1, or at least a high pick, they can get a QB, and have a team in place around him.

    This seem s workable model. Tank for 2 years, trade down so as to amass future picks, and draft a QB. If the QB works out, the team can be set for years.

    Good luck Cleveland.


      Eagles fan and couldnt agree more. Wish our front office was that smart…..

      • McGeorge

        In general, I think the Eagles did quite well overall in the off season. Howie Roseman dumped expensive players he didn’t want (saving a lot of cap space) and even got draft picks in the process. He also extended players early in the off-season at team friendly prices.

        The trade up for Wentz is risky. If it works out, he’s a genius, but if not, he hurt the team for 2 years.


          He traded those picks he acquired away so thats a wash. Far as Wentz himself goes if he flops almost the entire front office will be replaced and the Eagles could potentially be screwed for a very long time. I think theres a very strong chance Wentz will be another Jay Cutler type of QB. The type who are too talented for teams to smartly move on from even though their level of actual play is consistently below average.

          • McGeorge

            I think the Eagles over paid for Wentz, but maybe the owner was behind it. Maybe he wanted it, or the GM thought he’d be fired if the team doesn’t come up with a QB very soon. Roseman still did a good job unloading those other players and acquiring picks, even if you don’t like what he ultimately did with the picks.
            Look at it this way – he reduced the salary cap hits by unloading those players. That by itself was a good move.

            Is Cutler a mid level QB? Thats not terrible to have, and certainly better than a Mark Sanchez. Is it better than Sam Bradford? Maybe.

          • KAO(FIRE HOWIE ASAP)

            Sam is a mid level QB, Or at least thats what he’s viewed on but, coincidentally, Sam has also never played on an offense good enough to be top ten.

  • Ryan

    I think you need to go back and revise things in this article . . . for one, youve made no mention of the 2017 first round pick the Browns received from the Eagles, which seems to just be a honest mistake . . . then, even if you subtract what picks they received that are common, the Browns still received another future 2 that needs included in the value of what they received . . . instead of a 500 pt difference, it is really more like a 100 pt difference, if that

    • Ryan

      In reality: The Browns gave pick 2, pick 176 and a future 4 for 15, 76, 77, 100, a future 1, and 2 future 2s

      The Titans gave pick 1, 113, 177 and a future 2 for picks 8, 43, 45 176, a future 1 and future 3.

      • Ryan

        eliminate picks 176 and 177 from what each gave, eliminate the current and future 4 each gave as comparable values, eliminate the future 1s each received and then it looks like this: The Browns for 15, 76, 77, 100 and two future 2s, the Titans received 8, 43, 45 176 and a future 3. not counting the future picks, the Titans got 2340.6 pts from their trade down and the Browns got 1565. Add in two mid 2s for the future 2, and that would be another 800 pts or so for the Browns, bringing them around 2300-2400 pts, Give the Titans a mid 3 value for their future 3, and that is in the 2500’s, but then take away the 2 they gave, and that brings them back down all the way around 2100-2200 points. And this is all without including the fact the Browns gave up a lower pick.

        • Ryan

          this is my long winded way of saying the Browns actually got more out of the number 2 pick than the Titans got for the number 1 pick, if you are gonna use the trade chart

    • Kyle

      He did mention it. He said both teams received a 1st round pick in 2017, therefore they cancelled out when comparing.

      • Ryan

        he didn’t list it under their original compensation is what I meant, but he did list the Titans future 1, that is why I said it was likely an honest mistake, I realize he acknowledged it in the work that followed.

      • Ryan

        he doesnt mention at all the 2016 4th and 6th round picks the Titans gave up (though he does mention the future 4 the Browns gave)

        • Ryan

          therefore, his logic used to eliminate one of the future 2s is very flawed, since a more accurate elimination of comparable picks would be eliminating the current and future 4 each gave up

  • john

    i think clev traded down a lot and obtained many late pick who may never pan out,

    • dan

      Second and third rounders are starting caliber players for teams that draft well, we’ve done this before, it’s always a smart move if you draft good and develop a QB at some point

  • AKjester

    I think you have to consider what team each received the future 1st rounder from. The Eagles will likely be in middle of the pack again. They have a serviceable starter on their roster and won’t need to rely on Wentz right away. That is likely going to be pick 13-18 The Rams, however, will likely have to rely on Goff right away. I think that future #1 will be in the top 10, and likely top 5.

    • GiveNoFuq

      Last year the Rams picked 15 and Foles was beyond awful. With that defense and Gurley all Goff has to do is be better then Foles, which I think he can.

    • jdg3

      Rams won’t be any worse with Wentz. They could even be a fringe playoff team with that defense and Gurley


      Doubful. Rams had awful QB play last two seasons and basically were .500 for those two seasons. Fisher isnt close to a great coach but he knows how to mold a competitive team, gameplan week to week in all 3 phases, and play well vs the division. Also worth noting they put a 1st round tender on Keenum who is a good backup QB. Him starting week 1 shouldnt surprise a soul.

  • ConservativeChas

    Best Browns draft since they returned in ’99. Great job by the FO and by HC Hue. If these guys can’t get this thing turned around in three years, sell the franchise and get it out of Cleveland. Period.