The Browns said farewell to yet another former first-round pick. This time, it’s cornerback Justin Gilbert who’s been shipped out of Cleveland. He’ll still see the Browns twice a year, though, because he’s heading to Pittsburgh.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and then confirmed by the Steelers, the Browns traded Gilbert in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft. The Steelers already used their first two draft picks on defensive backs, taking Artie Burns and Sean Davis in the first two rounds.
The Steelers desperately need cornerbacks to fix a leaky secondary, but they’re unlikely to have found a solution in Gilbert. Taken No. 8 overall by the Browns in 2014, Gilbert appeared in 23 games over the past two seasons. He never developed into a competent corner, snagging just one interception.
After all, there’s a reason why the Browns didn’t mind sending a former first-rounder to a division rival, besides their fondness for extra draft picks.
So, the story is less about the Steelers and more about the Browns. As ESPN Stats & Info’s Vin Masi pointed out, the Browns made six first-round selections between 2011 and 2014. None of those players are still with the team.
Those six players are (via Masi):
- Justin Gilbert (traded)
- Johnny Manziel (released)
- Barkevious Mingo (traded)
- Trent Richardson (traded)
- Brandon Weeden (released)
- Phillip Taylor (released)
This picture really is something else.
With all that being said, it’s important to recognize that the current Browns’ regime did not make all of those picks. And the current front office should not be blamed for trying to salvage those poor selections.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Browns trade a former first-round pick to the Steelers for another draft pick