2012 NFL Draft: Browns Seize Destiny, Surrender to It in the Course of an Hour?

Brian Stepanek@@StepanekButtonCorrespondent IIApril 27, 2012

"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them."—Malvolio, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene II

Browns Backers, there is no God, there is no love and I'm pretty sure friendship's a myth too at this point.

The Browns are shopping Colt McCoy to the Packers, because he's the same prototype as Matt Flynn at a quarter the cost. You know, like you read about.

Let's get this out of the way right now: Trent Richardson is a great running back and Brandon Weeden is a tremendous quarterback. I'm excited to see how they do and I will support them with the entirety of my heart.

But my head can't wrap itself around the Browns as it relates to what economists call the "opportunity cost," of their 22nd overall pick. 

The Browns made a statement last night that they want to win now, the first regime to credibly echo Butch Davis' audacious instructions upon meeting his new team.

Davis told a franchise with a 5-27 record to, "Prepare like champions."

Last night, GM Tom Heckert and I suspect President Mike Holmgren drafted with the swagger of champions. Love it or hate it, they palpably approached the top three picks with three players in mind: Richardson, Weeden and Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright.

While courting Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III for their first round pick, the Browns grew infatuated with Weeden and Wright, as we intimated here earlier this week.


After losing out on Robert Griffin III to Washington, the Browns initiated an all-out assault on their remaining draft board.

First, Heckert, Holmgren & Co. channeled that frustration into the necessary aggression to fend of the rumored myriad of suitors with eyes for Trent Richardson in a trade-up with the Vikings to number three overall.

That move earned unanimous approval, as the Browns refused to let another of their favorite prospects slip from their fingers in a top five position. Three mid-to-late round picks certainly represents a miniscule price to pay to guarantee the services of Mr. Richardson.

My chief concern regards the Browns' reaction to the Tennessee Titans pilfering Wright, the guy the Browns entered the draft relatively certain they'd be able to get at 22nd overall.

Rather than take Stanford guard David DeCastro ten picks below his anticipated value, the Browns took Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden ten picks above his anticipated value.

Naturally, the Steelers casually drafted, in my opinion, the best lineman in the draft two picks later at 24th overall.

After a first round in 2011 with a trade down and a defensive tackle, the Browns probably felt they owed their fans a little action.


The last time the Browns appeased their fans, they drafted a quarterback at 22nd overall in 2007. Some guy named Quinn, from the Subway commercials? You know him.


I have a sneaking suspicion this selection boiled down to personal politics and Mike Holmgren's obsession with the quarterback position. If his instinct fails him in this instant, the opportunity cost to the Browns will be no less than half a decade.

Should Weeden succeed, the Browns could finally launch themselves into relevance.

But can a guy with a documented history of rotator cuff injury last behind the Browns' sieve of a right side?

Should the Browns have invested a 22nd overall pick in a guy older than Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith?

Make no mistake, no matter how many clay pigeons Brandon Weeden can shatter, if the Browns fail to adequately protect the OSU Cowboy, in a few years the only clay discs he's going to play with will be on the shuffleboard court.

Age jokes aside, Weeden could turn out to be a very, very good quarterback, seems like a good guy in interviews and has the benefit of the doubt, as far as I'm concerned.

My only issue is the age, that there was a tremendous player available in a position of need and I just sense that the Browns could have gotten Weeden at 37 and panicked.



Had they gotten DeCastro and traded up for Weeden, I would have been ecstatic.


Trent Richardson: great. Can't blame 'em, the pitchforks would have marched up Lou Groza Boulevard in the event that the Browns took Matt Kalil or traded back. Electrifying player, we could not pass him up.


The die has been cast. Cleveland may as well name Weeden the opening day starter: let's see what the kid's got.


Best Available for Browns at 37th Overall:
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska

*In a secondary (pun intended) rant about tonight's second round: I think Stephen Hill could be the surprise rookie of the year and would jump out of my seat if the Browns took him tonight.

He didn't make a pre-draft visit with the Browns, which deviate from the Browns' recent M.O.

I hope they were hiding him.  

You can follow me on Twitter: @StepanekButton


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