Hue Jackson replicated his reaction to Wednesday's big news for all to see at his Thursday post-practice press conference.
As the Cleveland coach was questioned about the team's trade of draft picks with the Eagles, a broad smile crossed his face. Needless to say, Jackson was absolutely jazzed when he learned Cleveland acquired a third- and fourth-round pick in this year's draft, a first-round pick in next year's and a 2018 second-rounder in exchange for moving from No. 2 to No. 8 in next week's first round and parting with a conditional 2017 fourth-rounder.
"I was excited and ecstatic about what (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) and his group has done for our football team," Jackson said after the team's third of three voluntary minicamp practices. "Obviously, we felt that was the best thing for our organization, and I truly believe that wholeheartedly. I'm really excited about watching how the draft unfolds for us next week because we're going to have an opportunity to put some talented football players on our team to add to the guys that are here."
The Browns returned to the practice fields Tuesday to open voluntary veteran minicamp.
As he's done since the day he was hired in January, Jackson reiterated his confidence in the group that made Wednesday's trade possible and will navigate next week's draft from start to finish with the team's 12 picks. It's been a collaborative effort spearheaded by Brown, and Jackson has certainly been involved in the pre-draft process.
Jackson was front and center at the Pro Days of quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz along with many of the other top prospects. After Los Angeles' trade last week to move into the No. 1 spot and Philadelphia's move right behind them, it's presumed the signal-caller duo will be off the board by the third pick, five spots ahead of where the Browns will make their first selection.
As Brown did earlier in the day, Jackson stressed the Browns' trade down was not an indictment on either of the quarterbacks. It was simply too good of an offer to pass during the team's transitional state.
"At the end of the day, they're really good players, and they're going to have fine careers in the National Football League," Jackson said. "I think they're two really good young men, and they're going to play in this league. Obviously, we'll see how all that unfolds. They were guys that we watched and dealt with, talked to, but at the same time, I said a long time ago we're going to do what we feel is right for our organization moving forward."
Jackson was again adamant the signing of quarterback Robert Griffin III had no effect on the decision to part with the No. 2 pick. Any questions that were specifically geared toward Griffin were given an answer that mentioned all four of the Browns' quarterbacks, and Jackson stressed nothing will be handed to the former Redskins signal-caller.
The Browns have six days until they make their first of 12 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, and the evaluation and strategizing will run right up to when the team is officially on the clock.
"At the end of the day, we all know still there is no exact science to it," Jackson said. "You have to try to figure it out as you go and be prepared and be ready. I am no more comfortable than being with this group that we will get this right than any group that I have ever been with before."