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Day 1 Winners and Losers

Judging the draft fortunes of teams and players

Posted: Saturday April 28, 2007 7:49PM; Updated: Saturday April 28, 2007 7:56PM
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PERLOFF'S BLOG: Live postings and draft analysis
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Cleveland Browns -- The steep price they paid is no small compensation, but in landing both Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn, the Browns came away with a potential franchise left offensive tackle and a franchise quarterback in the span of 20 picks. It's a move that could determine the fate of this franchise for a long time to come.

And I love it. In essence, the Browns got both their 2007 and 2008 first-round picks on Saturday, and paid the service charge of a high second-round pick (36th overall) to Dallas for the privilege of getting their future starting quarterback a year earlier.

It was bold, but with the Browns needing to show signs of life this season in order to ensure the job security of general manager Phil Savage and head coach Romeo Crennel, it was a gamble worth taking. Cleveland got a tremendous bargain in selecting Quinn with the No. 22 pick, and it's banking on him being far better than any potential starting quarterback they could have landed in next year's first round.

I'm convinced it's far better for Quinn to enter the league without the pressure of the No. 1, or even No. 3 draft pick label hung around his neck in Cleveland (see Couch, Tim).

Not only did the Browns hit the daily double in Saturday's first round, they also potentially impacted the future of a division rival -- and not for the better. Quinn revealed that just before the Browns made the move back into the first round to get him, he had just had a "long-winded conversation'' on the phone with Baltimore Ravens officials, who said they were furiously working on a trade up from No. 29 to take him.

"This is going to be a good thing,'' said Quinn's father, Ty. "The Browns are going to be very happy with today.''

They should be. They darn well should be.

Carolina Panthers -- In a draft that had maybe only 15 legitimate first-round graded players and featured so many teams trying to trade down, the Panthers were the first ones to successfully migrate south. Carolina swapped its No. 14 pick to the Jets and a sixth-rounder (199th overall), and wound up getting New York's No. 25 pick, plus an extra second-rounder (59th overall) and a spare fifth-rounder (164th).

That's how you play the draft game if there's not a player at your spot that you think is worth the money or is not supported by the grades on your board. The Jets took Pittsburgh cornerback Darrelle Revis at No. 14, and he fills a position of need for them in the secondary and in the return game. But Carolina also got a fine player in Miami linebacker Jon Beason -- who could be the oft-injured Dan Morgan's replacement in the middle -- and it did so in the more financially palatable 25th slot.


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