2012 NFL Draft: Why Cleveland Browns Must Trade Up for Robert Griffin III

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMarch 5, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns own the No. 4 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and have their eyes on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Browns' problem is that the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins could easily jump in front of them in a trade with the St. Louis Rams and snag Griffin with the No. 2 pick. 

The solution is simple: make a deal with the Rams before the Redskins or Dolphins have the chance to do so.

The Browns need a long-term solution at quarterback. Colt McCoy hasn't developed and has actually seemed to regress, and Cleveland can't afford to invest another season in McCoy when he hasn't shown the ability to play consistently at the NFL level.

Griffin could become the face of the Browns' franchise, which is something they have lacked for years. The former world-class hurdler has off-the-charts athleticism and has shown a ton of improvement as a passer over the past year. 

During his Heisman Trophy winning campaign in 2011, Griffin completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 4,293 yards, with 37 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He's also a guy who uses his legs not as a first option, but only when things break down. That's big, because he is more likely to hang in and scan the defense for openings before just bailing out.

The Browns need a dynamic playmaker on offense. Right now they possess very little in the way of explosiveness and with Peyton Hillis headed for free agency, Cleveland needs to make a splash in the draft. 

Even if it costs them both of their first-round picks, the Browns need to get Griffin. He is the offensive difference-maker the franchise needs.