2012 NFL Draft: 4 Possibilities for the Cleveland Browns for Pick No. 4
There is no Von Miller, A.J. Green, Julio Jones or even J.J. Watt in this year's pool of college players. In one word, it can be described as underwhelming, compared to recent classes before. There are a few that will be coveted like Andrew Luck and Matt Kalil, the best at each of their positions, but neither will be a Brown come Draft Day 2012.
For the Browns' sake, preliminary opinions of draft classes, or player grades for that matter, hold little weight and rarely play out accordingly. Sure many players that expected to be stars become them, and some become busts. But there are quite a few, little known dark horses, that become very good players. Heck, a handful will be that "diamond in the rough."
General manager Tom Heckert has already proven his worth as a talent evaluator. He's hit on each of his first two picks the past two years, selecting Joe Haden and T.J. Ward, along with Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard, respectively.
So what will this year bring us?
Option No. 1: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
The Browns select Justin Blackmon, the talented receiver from Oklahoma St.
Blackmon is arguably the best WR in the 2012 class. Not as tall as A.J. Green or Julio Jones, but equally as dangerous. If a team like Washington or Miami trades up to select Robert Griffin at No. 2, or No. 3, Blackmon would easily fall right into the Browns' lap!
Blackmon would give the Cleveland Browns a legitimate No. 1 receiver, and form a talented duo with Greg Little. Sprinkle in Josh Cribbs, Mohamed Massaquoi and Evan Moore, and you have a receiving crew worth watching!
Option No. 2: Nobody, Trade Down
Cleveland trades down.
If the Browns are staring at Robert Griffin III at pick four, Heckert and company will burn up the phones and find a dance partner in either the Washington Redskins (6), Miami Dolphins (8) or maybe the Seattle Seahawks (12). They really don't want to move much farther down than that.
Acquiring more draft picks, most likely this season and some for next, would be ideal, as the Browns would still have two first-round selections in 2012.
At those spots, if they do trade down, the Browns would likely have their choice of Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama), Quinton Coples (DE, UNC), Luke Kuechly (LB, Boston College), Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) or even Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama).
Each of these players would likely start from day one and impact the team positively.
If they don't have any takers, then...
Option No. 3: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Browns select Robert Griffin III.
RGIII is this draft's version of Cam Newton, in a slightly smaller package. He would bring immediate attention and excitement to Cleveland, and just the spark needed for impatient fans. The only question is, will he be there at No. 4?
Should the Browns have RGIII rated highest on their board, what would the cost be to move up and avoid any risk in losing a player of his caliber? Probably too much for the Browns. If not, why not just move up to No. 1 overall and draft Andrew Luck?
Should he be there, with nobody willing to trade, then it's a no-brainer. Even if someone does offer a trade, unless it's too good to pass up, Cleveland still selects Robert Griffin III and loves every minute of it all season long!
Option No. 4: Best Player Available
The Browns regardless will take the best player available. Unless Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert fall in love with RGIII, I doubt they will spend extra picks to move up for him.
There are plenty of other great players available. With a great combine performance, it's even possible some teams may want to trade up for players not currently in the spotlight.
Enjoy all the speculation in the months leading up. Lots will happen between now and April 26th.
One thing is for sure. The Cleveland Browns will get one of the following players at pick No. 4.
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
Not too shabby.