Browns make the right move in trading up

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
7:24
PM ET
The Cleveland Browns have traded with the Minnesota Vikings to move up to the third overall pick, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has reported.

The Browns are presumably making the move to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Cleveland gave up picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds to move up one spot.

This is a strong start for the Browns to a draft that is expected to rebuild one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Trading three picks is essentially nothing to make sure the Browns get the player they wanted. Cleveland entered the draft with a league-high 13 picks.

The Vikings must have convinced the Browns that teams were interested in leapfrogging Cleveland to get the only elite running back in this draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 5) and St. Louis Rams (No. 6) were reportedly eyeing Richardson. The Browns couldn't take the risk of losing Richardson. Outside of quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Richardson was the only other player in this draft who could make an immediate impact on offense.

The Browns desperately needed a playmaker for an offense that ranked 29th in yards and 30th in scoring. Richardson set Alabama single-season records for rushing yards (1,679) and touchdowns (21) last season.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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