By Tim Graham
The Cleveland Browns wanted Josh Gordon badly. And it sure looks like they thought the Buffalo Bills wanted him, too.
The Browns spent a second-round draft choice on the former Baylor receiver in today's NFL supplemental draft.
Most analysts evaluated Gordon as a third-round pick at best. But if the Browns had bid a third-rounder, then they risked losing Gordon to the Bills, the only team that had higher priority in the supplemental draft order.
Reportedly, no other team offered a second-round pick, meaning the Bills would have been the only way the Browns wouldn't have gotten away with a third-round bid.
As outlined on the Press Coverage blog Wednesday, the supplemental process involves a weighted lottery predicated on three groups: those with six wins (10 teams), all other non-playoff teams (10 teams), playoff teams (12 teams).
Clubs submit a bid on the player based on what round they're willing to select him. The team that bids the earliest round gets him, with the weighted draft order breaking ties, and then loses that corresponding choice in next April's regular draft.
The Bills came out at the top of the order for each round, CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora tweeted right before the supplemental draft began. The Browns were No. 2.
Had the order fallen differently, with the Bills farther back in the pack, the Browns still might have done the same thing. Then again, other teams ahead of the Browns might have been completely uninterested in receivers.
The Bills happened to be a team the Browns were scared of.
Cleveland probably overpaid based on the consensus, but got its man and denied Buffalo in the process.