Cleveland Browns Make Smart Offensive Moves in Round 1 to Set Up Round 2

Derek TalibContributor IIIApril 27, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Trent Richardson (R) from Alabama holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #3 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Browns fans can rejoice in the fact that Cleveland did not wait for circumstances to control their draft. Cleveland grabbed the bull by the horns and moved up to get their man Trent Richardson.  The cost was four picks, which amount to special team players, while still maintaining multiple picks to build their machine.  Cleveland also brought in the quarterback that can lead their team for the next eight to 10 years in Brandon Weeden.

In two picks the offense has been upgraded in Cleveland.  Weeden will challenge Colt McCoy for the starting job.  Although being picked at No. 22, it is apparent who will be winning that battle.  He can make every throw and has more size to hold up in a physical AFC North.  He has more arm strength that will allow the ball to be delivered more timely and deep. When the Browns add their receiver in Round 2 they will now have someone to get the ball to him.  If Weeden were 22 years old instead of 28, he quite possibly would have been the third quarterback off the board and not Ryan Tannehill.

Cleveland's front office has sent a message to their fans and Colt McCoy with the pick of Brandon Weeden.  Tom Heckert has stated that he might try to move Colt McCoy in the next two days.  Once the Browns had a failed attempt at getting RGIII, they should have moved Colt McCoy to a team that needed a quarterback to get an extra pick.  

Colt McCoy would be an upgrade to any team as a backup and could have grown on teams like Seattle or Miami, but the Browns should not be so hasty to get rid of him and should keep him as their backup. He knows the offense and there is not proof that Weeden will come in and light it up.  Colt will get over his feelings being hurt and would be solid while quarterback injuries run rampant in the NFL.  If nothing else, he has more value to be traded next year when teams are in desperate need again for a quarterback.

The addition of Alabama's Trent Richardson will be measured as the weather gets cold in the North. In Richardson the Browns added a threat that can garnish them those tough yards, with solid protection for Weeden or McCoy.  He secures the ball and comes from a pro-style offense and will free up the receivers, as teams may have to creep that extra defender in the box.  Richardson adds instant offense and could provide a 1,000-yard rusher that Cleveland has missed.

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates as he runs off of the field after they won 41-38 in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Day two of draft will have the Browns possibly adding their No. 1 receiver in Stephen Hill if he is available.  You can teach routes and how to read coverages, but you cannot teach someone to be 6'4", 215 pounds and run a 4.37 40-yard dash.  He is an accomplished blocker that will take the top off a defense if that extra man in the box .  He would also allow Greg Little and Josh Cribbs more freedom.  The anemic Browns passing game could suddenly become much more dangerous.  The addition of a full offseason should improve the dropsies the Browns experienced this past season.

The offensive line will be addressed on day two adding that missing right tackle.  Many of the Browns offensive line woes were due to injuries and inexperience, not a lack of talent.  Since Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston will be more experienced, the offensive line should be greatly improved.  The line could be made more formidable with the addition of a starting right tackle to provide extra protection for Weeden or McCoy.

So far, the Browns have made great moves and set themselves up to add more offensive starters on day two. Browns fans can breath a sigh of relief, as the front office seems to have a long-term plan instead of short-term fixes.