The Browns need to continue their recent draft successes.
The NFL Draft is like Christmas day for Browns fans. But too often our stocking is filled with mediocre talent.
Past drafts have resulted in little to zero improvement for the team. For a fanbase that lives by the success of the their beloved Cleveland Browns, it has been painful.
But recently, after successful back-to-back drafts, it appears that Tom Heckert has brought some credibility back to the franchise.
In 2012, the Browns' staff must connect again with hits on each of their picks in the first and second rounds.
The following slides are my warning to the Cleveland Browns—here are four things they must not do on Draft Day.
Possibility for the Browns at #22 or in Round 2?
If there is an opportunity to improve your team at the most important position—you must do it.
If the Browns cannot draft Robert Griffin III with the fourth overall pick, they might look at available QBs with their second first-round pick (22nd overall).
The Browns will look at a lot of arms during the NFL Combine weekend.
Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been mentioned as a possibility for the Browns at pick No. 22. But Cleveland will have to wait until Pro Day to see his drills; he won't participate in the Combine.
Other QBs the Browns could consider include:
Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St.
Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona St.
B.J. Coleman, QB, Chattanooga
Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan St.
Regardless of what happens in the Peyton Hillis saga, the Browns must not draft Trent Richardson with the fourth pick. If they want him, they can trade down a few selections. He'll still be available further down with players like Morris Claiborne, Reilly Reiff, Justin Blackmon and RG3 out there.
If Heckert and Holmgren decide that Trent Richardson is the pick, I would suggest not trading back any further than sixth overall.
Even if Peyon Hillis re-signs, selecting Trent Richardson is an excellent option, but not at No. 4.
Could the Browns trade back and still secure Blackmon?
The top-10 players in each draft are the best of the best. After them, there is a noticeable separation in talent and potential.
The Browns have a bad history of trading away picks or trading down. This year, they need to draft a talented rookie who can start on day one. I am not opposed to trading back—but with a pick in the twenties already—we don't need another selection in that range. The Browns need to acquire a top-10 talent.
A few players the Browns could consider:
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Mike Adams, RT, Ohio St.
Robert Griffin III is much more attractive at No. 4.
The Cleveland Browns would be mortgaging the future of the organization with a trade for RG3. The cost is too high.
The Browns have multiple holes to fill and can use two first-round picks to address them. Trading both picks (and maybe more) for a shot at Griffin is a huge risk.
Cleveland needs to call Washington's bluff. If Griffin goes No. 2 to the Redskins, the Browns will likely have their choice of Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne or someone else.
If the Redskins don't take Griffin, he could fall into the Browns' lap at No. 4—for free.