I normally don’t really follow the draft, but this year I’ve been interested in how it would play out, both to see how the Browns did, but also because there are no rules or guarantees in terms of how the rookies will be signed, as there is still no CBA in place.
Personally, from my own limited knowledge in the ways of the draft (which, as far as I can tell, puts me on par with a lot of the “gurus”), I was impressed with the haul that the Browns got in terms of picks. The talk is that the Bengals were also approached by Atlanta (so the Falcons could get A.J. Green) but that deal fell through at the end.
My guess is that the package originally offered to the Bengals was not as sweet as the one offered to the Browns. Instead, what I think might have happened is that after the Bengals decided that they wanted Green for themselves, the Falcons realized that Jones was the only other highly-rated receiver in the draft, and that with Peterson gone, it was highly likely that the Browns would take Jones. So, they offered more to the Browns, as they could not miss this chance.
I also think that the fact players could not be traded, only picks, was another big advantage for the Browns. Maybe the Falcons wouldn’t have wanted to trade some of their players, but they did have a lot of quality starters that the Browns could have used. With that option gone, it was all picks, and that’s something to relish. After all, 2 number 1 picks in the 2012 draft (assuming the NFL still exists at that point) is a luxury that few teams have.