BEREA — John Dorsey's ultra-aggressive nature didn't vault the Browns into the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

The franchise went without making a pick in the opening round for the first time since 2008 and the eighth time in team history.

But Dorsey coming away empty-handed wasn't for a lack of trying. He attempted at least a few times to trade back into the first round.

"You tried, but it takes two [teams to execute a trade], and every time we were trying, they'd kind of say, 'Well, you need to kick in a little bit more,' and I wasn't willing to do that," Dorsey said.

There were three players Dorsey said he identified as trade-up targets, though he declined to name them. He said all three of them were drafted.

"To get up to the position where they were acquired at that time, I thought the compensation was too rich to move that far," Dorsey said. "... They're all gone."

The draft will resume Friday night, when the Browns are scheduled to go on the clock for the first time in the middle of the second round (No. 49 overall). They also have a third-round selection (No. 80) on Friday and six choices on Saturday in rounds four through seven.

Dorsey said the Browns will look into moving up from No. 49.

"You explore those options and then you see if you can get up there at the right price or you stay patient or you even kick back," he said. "Now we can really get into the exercise of moving up and moving back, and we will actively be working the phones all day, all evening [Friday]."

Georgia's Deandre Baker became the only cornerback drafted in the first round when the New York Giants traded up to take him 30th overall. It was the first time since 1974 that a cornerback wasn't drafted in the top 25.

"If you really talk to a lot of people in this league [about] how they had the cornerbacks rated, I bet you would have 20 different stackings at the cornerback position this year," Dorsey said. "I think that goes with a lot of these positions, but I do think there are some really talented football players [who are] going to come off this board [Friday] and the next day."

The Browns might want a cornerback to pair with Pro Bowler Denzel Ward, the fourth overall pick in last year's draft. It's the only position, excluding specialists, where Dorsey hasn't added a newcomer this offseason.

Dane Brugler, draft analyst for the Athletic, ranked the top available cornerbacks in the following order: Washington's Byron Murphy, Louisiana State's Greedy Williams, Temple's Rock Ya-Sin, Central Michigan's Sean Bunting, Michigan State's Justin Layne and Notre Dame's Julian Love.

The Browns had the 17th overall choice coming off a 7-8-1 record, but Dorsey sent it, a third-round selection (No. 95 overall) and strong safety Jabrill Peppers to the New York Giants last month in a league-rocking blockbuster trade for superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants used the 17th pick on Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence.

"I’m very happy to have Odell Beckham as the 17th pick in the 2019 draft," Dorsey quipped.

Beckham's arrival erased the Browns' need for a top receiver, and only two were drafted in the first round: Oklahoma's Marquise Brown (No. 25 overall, Baltimore Ravens) and Arizona State's N'Keal Harry (No. 32 overall, New England Patriots).

"There really was no marquee receiver, per se," Dorsey said. "But [Friday] you'll see a lot of receivers start peeling off the board."

Dorsey's history as a wheeling-and-dealing general manager had Browns fans and media on alert for a potential bold move back into the first round. In his six previous drafts as a GM, five with the Kansas City Chiefs and one with the Browns, he made 18 trades involving picks.

Six teams traded up Thursday night. Dorsey explained his trade talks heated up around the middle of the first round.

"I thought after, right about midway point there, that’s where you were going to probably get the guys you had targeted," he said.

Dorsey declined to disclose whether Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons was one of his three trade-up targets, but there are reasons to believe he was.

Simmons received strong interest from the Browns, yet the Tennessee Titans drafted him 19th overall. The Browns will open the 2019 regular season at home against the Titans on Sept. 8, but they won't need to worry about facing Simmons this year because he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while training in February.

Simmons had been labeled by draft analysts and media members as a top-five talent and a logical trade-up target for Dorsey. Last week, Dorsey called Simmons "a phenomenal football player" during a news conference.

Earlier this month, the Browns hosted Simmons on a pre-draft visit at team headquarters and later called his former football coach at Noxubee County High School while delving into his background. Dorsey repeatedly defended Simmons' character, even though the player was caught on video repeatedly punching a woman three years ago as an 18-year-old senior in high school.

If Dorsey wants another defensive tackle, Ohio State's Dre'Mont Jones and Central Florida's Trysten Hill could be second-round targets. Both of them spent time with the Browns in Berea before the draft. Thirteen defensive linemen were picked in the first round — "That's a big number," Dorsey said.

Top-rated offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor (Florida) and Cody Ford (Oklahoma) are still on the board.

"I thought [Taylor would] go a little bit earlier," Dorsey said.

Mississippi wide receivers DK Metcalf and AJ Brown and corners Murphy, Williams and Ya-Sin are among the top-rated available players

"We always would hope we’d get a starter with that second-round pick," Dorsey said.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.