With the draft only a few days away, here are the most up to date and realistic selections for the Cleveland Browns (No. 4 overall) and Miami Dolphins (No. 8 overall). The best part of the days prior to the draft is not the endless analysis of players or even the mock drafts, but rather the rumors.
With the first three picks in the draft locked up in Andrew Luck (Colts, Stanford University), Robert Griffin III (Redskins, Baylor University), and Matt Kalil (Vikings, USC), here are the most recent rumors for the Browns and Dolphins' draft choices:
Cleveland Browns, No. 4 Overall:
Trent Richardson: Richardson is literally a can't-miss running back in this year's draft with his humble nature and incrediblly unmatched strength at the running back position—similar to someone like Jamal Lewis (you know, before he landed in jail). The only problem with drafting Richardson as a Cleveland Brown is the fact that the Browns have built a backfield around Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya.
The Browns front office have rumored to show the most interest in Richardson, but here are the other likely scenarios:
Trade: If the Browns feel they already have strong enough running backs, they can use Richardson to score some later draft picks and address some more important issues as a whole. It is rumored that the Jacksonville Jaguars have great interest in trading up for a pick, forcing the Browns front office to debate whether or not to select the best player available or trade the pick to further address other franchise needs.
Ryan Tannehill: Tannehill is one of the most underrated QB's in the draft, largely because of all of the chatter about Luck and RGIII. Seeing as how the Browns' current quarterback may or may not know what year it is, drafting a quarterback like Tannehill at No. 4 is a distinct possibility.
If You Owned the Browns, What Would You Do?
Justin Blackmon: Blackmon's game is so unique from the rest of the draft class that he's even being compared to Calvin Johnson. Both have incredible size and strength at the receiving position, however the Browns do not have a franchise quarterback in place just yet which could affect the transformation process for the young Blackmon.
Miami Dolphins, No. 8 Overall:
Ryan Tannehill: The Dolphins have showed so much interest in Tannehill that they've rumored to trade down from No. 8 to snag him. ESPN's Mel Kiper has Tannehill going to Miami at the No. 8 pick because he feels the teams drafting before the Dolphins have more important needs to tend to.
If the Browns pass on Tannehill, it's extremely favorable for the Dolphins because they won't have to worry about pick No. 5, 6 or 7 (Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Jacksonville, respectively) snagging the Texas A&M alum.
Melvin Ingram: Ingram has made a serious case for himself to be drafted in the top 10. The Dolphins have many areas for improvement coming into this loaded draft, and the young linebacker from South Carolina would be a smart choice if he is still available at No. 8.