This year’s 1st round among all franchises came with trades, surprises, suspense, and one of the best NFL draft classes of recent years. This is just going to be a quick overview of Cleveland’s 1st-3rd round selections and I will break down into further detail in many more columns to come throughout the offseason, among general NFL news.
Thursday night began with something out of the ordinary for the Cleveland Browns: Trading up in the draft. Locked in at the No. 4 pick and destined to select RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland moved up a spot, to No.3, swapping with the Minnesota Vikings. Holmgren and company slid forward because multiple teams had inquires about moving up with Minnesota, and to secure Richardson, the folks out of Berea pulled the trigger. The Browns came into Radio City Music Hall with 13 total selections, so trading away a fourth, a fifth, and a seventh round pick was a completely justifiable thing to do. It left Cleveland with a still abundant 10 selections in this year’s draft; it’s not like all 13 selections would have made the squad anyway after training camp.
With that, we move on to the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft. As predicted by the experts and myself, Cleveland nabbed the figurehead of the backfield and the maybe the best skill position player of the entire draft class with the No. 3 pick, Trent Richardson.
Richardson fills the void Peyton Hillis honestly never filled and no RB has filled for quite a while with his athleticism, quickness, agility, and ability to play without the football. Many believe (I’m talking to you Bill Barnwell), that Richardson isn’t worth the money he will be receiving shortly and that consistent players in the backfield come at a premium. Some of that gibberish has proven to be credible, but I differ from that perspective when a player of such daunting talent comes along.
I’m guessing Heckert pounded his head against his big board furiously when the freakin’ Titans selected Kendall Wright out of Baylor at the 20 spot, leaving management with the one player they fell in love with (me included), Brandon Weeden. Was it a reach at No. 22 to select the 28 year old QB? Yes and no.
Weeden has tremendous potential and he will be the starter in northern Ohio next season, giving McCoy threatening competition (unless he’s dealt). Just like Richardson I’ve liked Weeden for a couple months now and seriously his age isn’t a main concern. Yes I know, 28 years old sounds like an eternity of a lifetime for someone just getting drafted into the NFL, but as Gruden points out in the video below, “Weeden can throw the football and win you games…” And throughout the losses, that’s music to my ears and my heart, being able to win football games. However, his ceiling isn’t too far away and will only be able to produce 6-10 years (still a great deal of seasons). In addition, if he can’t adapt quickly into the pro game, he loses valuable time out of the gate. Yet, I believe in Holmgren and I trust Weedem can acclimate into Shurmur and Childress’ system this season.
I did assume that the wide-receiver position was of HUGE concern, but apparently not. Heading into Friday night Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech, Rueben Randle of LSU, Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina, and Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers were all on the board. And yes, you guessed it right- Cleveland got none of them. Plenty of time to prepare and nothing to show out of the gate excepted a needed OT named Mitchell Schwarts (a selection I did like). The Browns did need to fill the RT position, and they got that out of the way first, but I was surprised of the lack of movement to snag a talented wide-out to compliment the additions of Richardson and Weeden. I understand it may not have been in their best interest, but this was something that needed to be addressed as soon as possible.
Before Kiper re-gelled his hair, all of the above mentioned WR’s were gone like a Drake’s Coffee Cake in front of Newman from Seinfeld. Stephen Hill was plucked by the Jets, Alshon Jeffery selected shortly after by Da Bears, Randle by the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, and even Sanu by Cleveland’s Ohio counterpart, the Cincinnati Bengals. Sanu was still anyone’s game when Cleveland had the 67th overall selection, but they did trade down for the 87th and 120th overall selections from the Manning Broncos. Oops, I mean the Denver Broncos. The War Room also turned that 87th overall pick into DT John Hughes, and quite honestly I have nothing to report on this selection besides that he could rotate in with Ahtyba Rubin and 2nd year man, Phil Taylor.
Day 3 and rounds 4-7 leave Cleveland with 7 more picks amidst the rumors of Colt McCoy being shopped on the trade market. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cleveland grabs another QB in either the 6th or the 7th round because Seneca Wallace could be on his way out. Also expect a WR somewhere tomorrow and some help in the secondary as well as the OLB’s and maybe a LE to play aside Jabaal Sheard.
Go Browns? One year at a time, one draft at a time.
About the Author
Written by Corey Rioux
A wise man once told me, "Sports are modern-day mythology." I tend to disagree. Proper grammar is optional. You can read my columns here: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/author/c_rioux23/ You can follow me on twitter at: @CoreyRioux You can contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org