The 2011 NFL Draft is underway and we have out first major trade of the evening. The Cleveland Browns traded out of the No. 6 pick with the Atlanta Falcons, who had previously been scheduled to pick at No. 27. That’s quite a big jump for Atlanta, but they wanted to ensure they got a dangerous weapon in this year’s draft. They did just that, wide receiver Julio Jones out of Alabama.
I applaud the Falcons for having the gumption to move up that high. It did cost them a pretty penny though. The Falcons swapped places in round one with Cleveland (27th overall pick), plus gave up their second round pick in this year’s draft (59), their fourth round pick (124), and a first and fourth round pick in the 2012 Draft.
Cleveland is now positioned well to really lay a nice foundation for the future in this and next year’s draft. Mike Holmgren has to be thrilled to have pulled off this trade. The Browns may not be ready to compete for a Super Bowl in ’11, but they are going to be a threat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in years to come if they get it right with this bundle of picks they possess. More on this trade, what it means for the AFC North landscape, and how the Steelers and Browns rivalry could be renewed in a big way sooner rather than later.
2012 1st Round and 4th Round Pick