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Browns trade down, select CB Emerson in third round of draft

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The Cleveland Browns made another offseason trade with Houston — this one much less significant — and dropped to the third round to take Mississippi State cornerback Martin Emerson in the NFL draft on Friday night.

Following the blockbuster deal to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson last month, Browns general manager Andrew Berry had the Texans on speed dial and reached out to them in the second round.

The Browns didn’t have a first-round pick Thursday night — and won’t have one the next two years — following the Watson trade, but that didn’t stop Berry from trading the No. 44 pick (a second-rounder) for No. 68 and taking Emerson.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Emerson gives Cleveland some depth at cornerback behind Pro Bowler Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II, selected by the Browns with the No. 26 overall pick last year.

“Great players and I’m looking forward to learning from them,” Emerson said on a call from Atlanta. “I’m going to bring everything I got.”

Before the deal, there were several quality options, including Michigan defensive end David Ojabo and Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore, available at 44. But Berry did more business with Houston, swapping 44 for 68 and getting picks Nos. 108 and 124, giving the Browns nine this weekend.

Cleveland’s other objective this weekend is to trade quarterback Baker Mayfield.

And that hasn’t happened yet.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2018 became expendable when the Brown s acquired Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl QB who is still facing civil lawsuits in Texas from 22 massage therapists alleging sexual misconduct.

Carolina and Seattle remain possible trade destinations for Mayfield, who went 29-30 in four seasons as a starter but didn’t become the franchise QB the Browns had hoped.

The Panthers, who have told Sam Darnold they intend to bring in a quarterback to compete with him, didn’t have a pick in the second or third rounds.