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2012 NFL Draft: Why the Cleveland Browns Shouldn't Trade Up for RG3

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 2:  Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren greets people on the field prior to to the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Nick HartCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2012

The 2012 NFL Draft is fast approaching and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is considered to be the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the 2012 NFL draft. He is speculated to be a top two draft pick.  The Cleveland Browns are rumored to be exploring the possibility of trading up to the second spot to draft him. However this would be a huge mistake for the Cleveland Browns for a multitude of reasons.

Did Robert Griffin III just put up exceptionally good numbers at the NFL Combine? Absolutely. Does that mean the Cleveland Browns should trade up in the 2012 NFL Draft to draft him? Absolutely not.

Let's be completely honest, the Browns have holes throughout their roster. The running back position is unsettled and lacks talent, the roster lacks a No. 1 wide receiver, the right tackle needs to improve, outside of D'Qwell Jackson none of the linebackers should be starting, and the free safety position drastically needs an upgrade. Clearly, the Cleveland Browns are not currently in the position to win a Superbowl.

However, the 2012 NFL draft is the perfect opportunity for the Cleveland Browns to drastically upgrade their roster.  They own two first round picks, and six total picks in the first five rounds of the draft.  That is plenty of opportunity to provide a major influx of talent to the roster. With those picks, the Browns can address every position they need.  

Which draft is better for fielding a team: Robert Griffin III and a few late round picks or Justin Blackmon (4th), Fletcher Cox (22nd), Zach Brown (37th), and Bobby Massie (68th) and the rest of the draft? Clearly, the latter option. The Cleveland Browns' brain-trust needs to focus on fielding a complete team, as opposed to an incomplete team with a good quarterback.  

The competition for the second pick also should be taken into consideration.  By many accounts the Redskins and Dolphins as well as other teams are interested in the pick.  Obviously, with high demand the price will increase as well.  The Browns are going to have to give up both of their first round picks and most likely a second or third round pick as well.  That's three top-70 picks to move up two spots. That's ridiculous.   

If the Cleveland Browns are dead-set on replacing Colt McCoy at quarterback, Matt Flynn is the best alternative.  Flynn has NFL experience and will be able to immediately step in and produce. Additionally, he has played in a West Coast system, which is what the Brown's utilized in 2011.

The Cleveland Browns need to emulate the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets and focus on building a dominant defense and a pounding running game.  The team needs to focus on fielding a competitive team that can challenge for AFC North titles.  By holding onto their current picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Browns can begin to field a complete team and compete with the upper echelon of the AFC North.

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