After the trade was completed, Watson signed a five-year, $230 million fully-guaranteed deal with the Browns.
The Browns’ earliest pick this year came in the third round when they selected Mississippi State cornerback Martin Emerson.
It’s still uncertain if the trade for Watson will pay off.
Otherwise, they gave up a haul of picks that can turn into potential starters or All-Pros.
The lack of first-round picks is a stark contrast to how the Browns navigated the draft during the earlier decades of the new millennium.
For as poorly as the Browns drafted for a long, long time, a first-round run ('08 traded) of…
2007: Joe Thomas
2009: Alex Mack
2010: Joe Haden
…is really good by any standard. Lots of production and longevity there.
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) September 21, 2022
The Athletic’s Zac Jackson tweeted, “For as poorly as the Browns drafted for a long, long time, a first-round run (’08 traded) of… 2007: Joe Thomas, 2009: Alex Mack, and 2010: Joe Haden is really good by any standard. Lots of production and longevity there.”
Thomas played his entire 11-season carer with the Browns and holds the NFL record for most consecutive snaps played at 10,363.
He still became a six-time First-Team All-Pro and ten-time Pro Bowler despite the terrible teams he played for.
Thomas was also a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team.
Meanwhile, Mack played for the Browns from 2009 to 2015.
He became a three-time Second-Team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler.
Like Thomas, he is also a part of the 2010s All-Decade Team.
Haden Retires From The NFL
Finally, cornerback Joe Haden announced his retirement from the league after 12 seasons.
He was selected by the Browns with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and stayed with the franchise until 2016.
He finished his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and had one Second-Team All-Pro selection.
Haden is also a three-time Pro Bowler and a member of the 2010 All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers Association.