The Browns won’t trade up in the NFL Draft, and that is a good thing.
They may, though, trade down, and that could be a good thing.
General Manager Tom Heckert told reporters at the NFL’s Annual Meetings in Palm Beach (on Palm Beach?), Fla., that the Browns would not trade up to the third slot, but left open the possibility of a trade down.
There would be a key difference in this year’s trade down, though, and that would be that Heckert would not go down more than a few spots. There will be no move into the 20s like last year.
Heckert said there are five guys on the Browns draft radar with the fourth pick, and if he can move down a couple or a few spots and get one of the five plus an extra pick, why not?
Why not indeed.
The five would include receiver Justin Blackmon, running back Trent Richardson and cornerback Morris Claiborne. The other two are interesting, and perhaps could include defensive end Quinton Coples. Safe to assume that offensive tackle Matt Kalil would be an option if Minnesota trades its pick or passes on Kalil (which would be surprising).
The best player in the bunch probably is Claiborne.
And the temptation of putting him at cornerback with Joe Haden instantly makes the defense better. It also might allow Sheldon Brown to move to safety.
But the Browns offense is so needy the team may feel that they have to take Blackmon. This is not a bad thing. The Browns do need receivers.
What isn’t known is whether quarterback Ryan Tannehill is one of the five. Most folks say Tannehill isn’t worth the fourth spot, but he might be worth the 8th or 9th (he wrote, splitting the proverbial hairs).
A while back I opined that the Browns might not find it as easy as everyone thought to improve the quarterback position, and that Colt McCoy might return as the starter.
That certainly appears to be the case.
Washington outbid the Browns on Robert Griffin III, the team chose not to pursue Matt Flynn. Now the last domino to fall is a decision on Tannehill in the first round.
Why not a running back, you ask? Glad you asked.
Because it seems like the Browns feel better about their running back group than they do their receiving group. And its seems the Browns feel like they can get a running back in the second round (something Tom Heckert did with Philadelphia when the Eagles took LeSean McCoy). Think a guy like Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead, a pure football player.
Imagine if the draft goes Blackmon, offensive tackle/Brandon Weeden, Pead.
That’s not too shabby.
It just leaves fans having to believe in McCoy again.