2012 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns Should Go All Offense in First 2 Rounds
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The Cleveland Browns seemingly are in the same position every year when the draft comes around. The Browns possess the fourth, 22nd, and 37th picks in this year's draft.
It is obvious the team has multiple needs at many different positions, but the biggest needs come at the skill positions like running back and wide receiver. The Browns had one of the worst offenses in the league, ranking 24th in passing yards and 28th in rushing yards per game last season.
The front office needs to address these issues with their first few picks in the draft to provide the team with the playmakers it seriously lacks.
The Browns No. 1 wide receiver option is Greg Little who caught 61 passes for just over 700 yards and a mere two touchdowns. The lack of production at the wide receiver position is a big problem, especially when you have a young quarterback in Colt McCoy. Peyton Hillis was the Browns' leading rusher in 2011, but played in only 10 games and brought negative attention to the team with his off-field issues.
With the Browns and Hillis parting ways, it created a big-hole at the running back position and it needs to be addressed as well come draft weekend.
The Cleveland Browns need to address these two very key positions for the team to have any hopes of improving this upcoming season.
With the fourth overall pick, the Browns can go in either direction with two very big names as top players in the draft. Trent Richardson (RB) and Justin Blackmon (WR) are two potential playmakers that may just turn the tide in Cleveland in years to come.
Richardson, from Alabama, has a tremendous combination of size and speed. With a 5'9", 228-pound frame and shifty moves, Richardson can run right at defenders or make them miss and bounce it outside. The former Alabama star rushed for over 1,600 yards last season while punching it in the endzone 21 times.
Richardson is a great choice at the No. 4 pick if the Browns decide to address the running back position first.
What position should the browns focus on in the draft?
Blackmon is another playmaker that the Browns are definitely considering come draft day. The former Oklahoma State wideout caught 18 touchdowns last season, which puts him at two more trips to the endzone than the entire Browns' passing offense had from last season.
Blackmon's 121 receptions and just over 1,500 yards receiving last season prove he is a reliable receiver with great hands and playmaking ability. Blackmon's numbers will most likely drop in the NFL at first, but those kinds of numbers are easily in his future in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns have been said to like Blackmon, but if you can recall, the Browns did pass on Julio Jones last season with the sixth overall pick, so Blackmon is by no means a lock.
The Browns are fortunate enough to have two first-round picks. The 22nd pick hinges solely on what the Browns do with the fourth, but some possibilities include wide receiver Kendall Wright from Baylor and wide receiver Michael Floyd of Notre Dame, provided he falls in the draft.
The Browns have also been linked to various offensive guards and tackles, which would sure up the line for McCoy. With decent talent also available at the receiver position, it would be wise for the Browns to take Richardson at four, in hopes that one of these two receivers would still be available with the 22nd pick.
I believe one of Cleveland's key picks is also in the second round with the 37th overall pick. The first round will obviously determine the ultimate direction of the team with this pick, but there will be plenty of players left full of talent at this pick. Former Boise State running back Doug Martin, former Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill, or another possibility is adding another quarterback in Brandon Weeden or Brock Osweiler.
Any of these selections would be a great addition come draft day and are all relatively real possibilities.
The Cleveland Browns have not leaked information regarding where they are leaning with their first selections this year, which means we can only speculate as to who's names will be called. Regardless of who the Browns draft, they need to address offensive positions for the benefit of the team.
The Browns possess 13 draft picks this year. They will attempt to build their team through the draft to help provide McCoy with more weapons to compete this season. McCoy deserves one more year as the starter to attempt to prove he is the real deal and can win key games in the NFL. The Browns need playmakers, and with a few early picks in the draft, they should snag a few key players for this upcoming season.
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