Friday, April 20, 2012
Browns have to take big-picture approach
By Jamison Hensley
Browns general manager Tom Heckert told reporters that the team would like to keep the No. 4 pick and it has narrowed that choice down to two unidentified players.
Many believe those two players are Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. If that's the case, the choice should be Richardson. It’s not just me saying this. When you look at the alternatives, you’ll be saying this as well.
Everyone will agree that Richardson and Blackmon are the top prospects at their position. But the Browns can address wide receiver later in the first round or early in the second. Cleveland can’t do that a running back.
There is no one close to Richardson or his combination of power and elusiveness. At running back, there’s Richardson and everybody else. The second-tier running backs -- Virginia Tech’s David Wilson, Boise State’s Doug Martin and Miami’s Lamar Miller -- are second-round talents.
At wide receiver, Blackmon ranks No. 1 but he has his flaws. He doesn’t have elite size or speed.
The Browns can get a receiver with size late in the first round with South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery. They can get one with speed with Baylor’s Kendall Wright. They can get one with speed and athletic ability with Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill.
Heckert downplayed a report that he favors Blackmon over other possibilities at No. 4. "Everything you've heard is complete nonsense," he said.
He also needs to resist the temptation of moving down. They have 13 picks in this draft, including three of the first 37. Cleveland should stay at No. 4 and be thrilled to add an offensive playmaker. As I said previously, this draft for the Browns is about quality, not quantity.
There’s no question that the Browns need to draft a running back and wide receiver. When taking a big-picture look at both positions, there’s no question that the pick should be Richardson.