2012 NFL Draft: Pros and Cons for Every Cleveland Browns Draft Option

Dan TylickiAnalyst IApril 25, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Pros and Cons for Every Cleveland Browns Draft Option

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    The 2012 NFL draft is close enough that we can start counting it down in hours. With under 48 hours until the draft, rumor mills are exploding, top picks are being confirmed, and final mock drafts and big boards are being set up.

    The Cleveland Browns hold the fourth, 22nd and 37th picks in the first two rounds. Both management and fans know what the team's needs are, and given the picks available, it's actually difficult to make an ideal mock draft for them, especially with wide receivers rising and falling late.

    This is a comprehensive guide on those first three picks, looking at the pros and cons of each Browns' draft option. Each fourth and 22nd pick is looked at, as well as many of the 37th pick options, since when you get that far down there are a lot more possibilities.

Trent Richardson

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    Projected Pick: fourth

    Pros: Of the players available to the Browns, Richardson is the best one. He's a playmaker, and the best running back available since Adrian Peterson. He would be a good fit on any team in the NFL, and since he played in the SEC, he's played against top talent.

    It's rare to find an every-down back these days especially with teams moving to committees, but Richardson can start from day one and give the offense an identity. His pass-blocking abilities should help Colt McCoy in the pocket when he's not running the ball.

    Cons: As noted, running backs are not as big a deal as they used to be. Besides, a great running back does not help you win games. Adrian Peterson, Stephen Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew are three of the best in the game today, yet those teams are picking in the top seven.

Morris Claiborne

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    Projected Pick: fourth

    Pros: Like Richardson, Claiborne is an SEC player and has played against top competition. As the best cornerback in the draft, he would give the Browns their best cornerback duo since the days of Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield.

    Drafting defense with the fourth overall pick might neglect the offense, but it gives the Browns a defense that could compete with Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

    Cons: Claiborne's scouting report doesn't wow me, and watching his tape, he strikes me as a possession cornerback rather than a shutdown one.

    That's entirely fine for a No. 2 guy that the Browns need alongside Joe Haden, but that's not the type of player you pick fourth overall.

Justin Blackmon

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    Projected Pick: fourth

    Pros: The Browns need a wide receiver big time, and while this pick has went from solid to a bit of a reach, Blackmon is still probably the best receiver in this year's draft class.

    Blackmon's college production was great, and the Browns need production more than anything from their receivers, which Blackmon should be able to provide.

    Cons: Was Blackmon's big-time numbers the result of him being an elite receiver or a good receiver that was a product of the high-offense Big 12? It seems to be the latter to many, plus he's not a downfield threat, which the Browns need more than a possession receiver.

    Not only that, but teams are unsure if he's even the top receiver. Remember that if he was in last year's draft class, he would still be third behind A.J. Green and Julio Jones even with the added development.

Matt Kalil

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    Projected Pick: fourth

    Pros: While the Browns have a mostly solid left side on their offensive line, their right side needs help big time. Matt Kalil could start from day one and give the Browns a great line.

    Tackles are never a pick that generates much buzz, but the Browns have had the most success in the first round with the O-line (Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, even Jeff Faine).

    Cons: Using a top-five pick on a great left tackle is entirely reasonable. Using a top-five pick on who would be a right tackle when there are players just as good further down is much less so.

    Why would the Browns bring in someone who plays the same position as their best player—Joe Thomas? Besides, the move from left tackle to right tackle could be a major issue for Kalil; no one knows if it will work out.

Ryan Tannehill

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    Projected Pick: fourth/trade down from fourth

    Pros: The Browns need a franchise quarterback. Colt McCoy is serviceable on a good day, but he's not going to lead the team to the Super Bowl. If Tannehill's ceiling is as high as scouts project it given his limited college QB, he could be great.

    Cons: I have a laundry list of reasons why the Browns shouldn't draft Tannehill already made. As for a more objective report, he's a project at QB still, and when you mess up there, it sends the team back many years. Do the Browns want to risk that?

    The biggest issue I have with Tannehill is his rapid rise up to the top 10 when he was projected near the end of the first round originally. Rapid risers and fallers always concern me when it comes to the draft.

Michael Floyd

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    Projected Pick: 22nd/Trade up from 22nd

    Pros: As noted, the Browns need a franchise wide receiver, and Michael Floyd was not only great at Notre Dame, but the more scouts watch him, the more he continues to rise in the draft, to the point where he may not be available 22nd (he's too much of a reach at four; that won't happen despite anyone saying so).

    Cons: A possession receiver who could be a No. 1, who can be a bit of a handful and who's best on the inside? That's both Michael Floyd and Greg Little. There's no reason for the Browns to take a receiver they already have.

    I might be wrong on the Floyd-Little comparison, but I do know that the Browns need a downfield wide receiver to go with the possession guy in Little. Floyd is not that guy.

Cordy Glenn

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    Projected Pick: 22nd

    Pros: Cordy Glenn can play both tackle and guard, and his versatility would be ideal for the Browns on the right side. He's a guy who could start on day one, and generally Georgia is very good about providing talent that can play at the next level.

    He's best at being a downfield blocker, which could be a huge asset to the Browns as well, especially if he's taken after Richardson.

    Cons: Scouting reports have him a bit on the slow side when getting in motion. That can be overlooked at the college level, but when facing defensive lines like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, you need to be on your game.

Kendall Wright

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    Projected Pick: 22nd

    Pros: Wright looked great at Baylor and has established himself as the best downfield wide receiver in the class. He not only fills the wide receiver need, but fills the kind of wide receiver that the Browns need thanks to his speed, which will complement Greg Little well.

    Cons: Wright has fallen quite a bit in draft rankings thanks to a slow 40 time. Usually I don't take much stock in raw numbers, but this is a speed wide receiver running slow without pads. At the NFL level, can he actually be a downfield threat?

    Factor in that he won't have a playmaker like Robert Griffin III working with him, and that could be a detriment.

Jonathan Martin

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    Projected Pick: 22nd

    Pros: The Browns need a right tackle, and Jonathan Martin can fill that spot immediately. He did a great job protecting Andrew Luck, and if he helped make Luck the player he was, then it's clear that he'll be a great fit for the Browns.

    Cons: His strength in the trenches is only considered average, and with the type of linemen he would face in the AFC North, that may not be enough.

    As a natural left tackle, time will tell if he can move to right tackle without a problem.

Stephen Hill

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    Projected Pick: 22nd

    Pros: The Browns need a wide receiver, and he's been rising up the draft thanks to how he's looked recently. His 40-yard dash time shows that he can be a speedy threat as well, and the Browns need a downfield threat.

    Cons: Hill was in a run-heavy offense at Georgia Tech, and moving from a pro-style West Coast offense will be a big adjustment. It could take him more time to develop into a playmaker than the Browns have to work with.

Doug Martin

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    Projected Pick: 22nd/37th

    Pros: If the Browns feel it's wrong to take a running back in the top five and Doug Martin falls to the 37th pick, then it could be a great pickup. He's well-rounded with good size and speed, and while he's not a sure thing like Trent Richardson is, he's not too far off.

    Cons: Unlike Richardson, Martin was not facing NFL-caliber defenses every week, and he doesn't have the raw downfield speed some of the other running backs have. Picking him at No. 22 is probably a stretch and would look like the Browns panicking after missing Richardson.

Rueben Randle

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    Projected Pick: 22nd/37th

    Pros: Randle was able to look like a great wide receiver at LSU despite having a poor quarterback throwing him the ball. Of all the wide receivers available in the first three picks, Randle is probably the best fit for a West Coast offense.

    Factor in that he's played against top talent and has great size and he should have little trouble adjusting in the pros.

    Cons: Unlike Wright and Hill, Randle is not as much of a downfield threat. He's not the best route runner in the draft either, which one needs to be in a West Coast offense. People note Kendall Wright's 40-time, but Randle's was no better.

Brandon Weeden

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    Projected Pick: 22nd/37th

    Pros: Weeden is, in my opinion, the third-best quarterback behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. He would have a quick learning curve and could dive right into the NFL.

    He has amazing production at Oklahoma State and knows how to win games. He's a smart, accurate pocket passer who could make the team more dynamic.

    Cons: His age is an obvious con, as he's not going to be in the NFL that long. I can handle the lack of mobility, but his playing in a shotgun offense can be concerning.

    When you add Weeden into the mix, then that will mean there's a QB controversy in training camp this year—again.

Bobby Massie

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    Projected Pick: 37th

    Pros: The Browns need a right tackle, and Massie is a natural right tackle, so they would not have to worry about a position move. He has prototypical size and strength and played against top SEC competition.

    Cons: He's more of a project than the other right tackles available. He has the athleticism but tends to overshoot on pushes instead of simply guarding against a pass rush.