Plan of Attack for the 2012 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns

Free agency is waning down and the Draft is just hours away.  It’s time to sit down and go over every teams free agent acquisitions and losses, along with their team needs.   Using that information  we will figure out a Plan of Attack for the 2012 Draft for each team.  We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and work our way down one day at a time, to the Indianapolis Colts and the first overall pick.

CLEVELAND BROWNS                                                                                                       

Team Needs:  RB, WR, QB, OT, DE

Free Agent Additions: OT Oneil Cousins (resigned), WR Jordan Norwood (resigned), DE Juqua Parker, CB Dimitir Patterson (resigned), DE Frostee Rucker, NT Brian Schaefering (resigned), TE Alex Smith (resigned),

Free Agent Losses:  CB DeAngelo Smith, OT Steve Vallos, RB Peyton Hillis, OT Artis Hicks, FS Mike Adams

Round 1:
Potential Targets: 
RB Trent Richardson, CB Morris Claiborne, OT Matt Kalil, WR Justin Blackmon, QB Ryan Tannehill, WR Stephen Hill, WR Kendall Wright, WR Michael Floyd, OT Jonathan Martin, DE Whitney Mercilus, DE Nick Perry, DE Chandler Jones

Round 2:
Potential Targets: 
QB Brandon Weeden, QB Kirk Cousins, DE Vinny Curry, OT Bobby Massie, OT Zebrie Sanders,  WR Rueben Randle, WR Alshon Jeffrey

Round 3:
Potential Targets: 
OT Donald Stephenson, G James Brown, OT Mitchell Schwartz, G Jeff Allen, DE Jared Crick, DE Tyrone Crawford, DE Cam Johnson, WR Ryan Broyles, WR Marvin McNutt, WR Keshawn Martin

Plan of Attack:  The Browns hold the fourth overall pick and will look to find an explosive playmaker on offense with it.  They could consider WR Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma St., but the smart money is on RB Trent Richardson from Alabama.  Alabama is a rare three down back with great explosion and toughness.  He is an excellent pass catcher out of the backfield and gives the Browns a weapon unlike anything they’ve had before.  There has been some talk the Browns could take Ryan Tannehill at 4, but that would be a big reach and reeks of desperation.  They need to just grab the best player available and that will be Richardson.  With their second first round pick, no. 22 overall, the team should once again look for an offensive weapon and this time target a receiver.  Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill would be the two likely choices. Both of these guys are extremely fast but that is where the comparisons end.  Hill is a bigger receiver who will be a great vertical threat, but needs more work on his route running.  Wright can run every route imaginable and is quick as a cat, but doesn’t have Hill’s size.  Either one of these guys would vastly improve the Browns offense.  The other option for the Browns would be to take a right tackle here and they could look at Stanford’s Jonathan Martin.

In round 2 the Browns seem destined to pick Oklahoma St. QB Brandon Weeden.  Weeden was a very productive college QB coming from a pass happy attack.  He is smart and accurate and his arm is plenty strong enough.  The knock on him is that he’ll be a 29 year old rookie and will likely have a shorter than normal career.  Regardless, the Browns should grab him and allow him to compete with Colt McCoy.  McCoy has had flashes so if this competition makes him better then great, or if Weeden flat out beats him for the job then also great.  Either way the Browns QB situation will be much better than in previous years with Weeden in the fold.

In round 3 the Browns will look for a right tackle or a pass rusher.  If CAL OT Mitchell Schwartz is still on the board he could be the choice.  He’s 6’5 320 lbs and powerful. He’s already a nasty run blocker but will need to work on his pass protection.  If Schwartz is gone the Browns could look for pass rushing help.  They did add Frostee Rucker in free agency but a young guy to grow old with Jabaal Sheard would be a great move.  They could look at Nebraska’s Jared Crick but a more likely target would be Boise St.’s Tyrone Crawford.




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