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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Browns dropped ball at WR in this draft

By Jamison Hensley

BEREA, Ohio -- The reason why the Browns don't have a coveted wide receiver is because they failed to be aggressive.

Cleveland got the running back it wanted by trading up to No. 3 to draft Trent Richardson. The Browns should've done the same later in the first round for their targeted wide receiver, Baylor's Kendall Wright.

By staying put at No. 22 on Thursday, the Browns have a 28-year-old rookie quarterback in Brandon Weeden and no difference-maker at wide receiver after three rounds. Cleveland reportedly had Wright rated higher than Weeden and would've taken Wright if he was available.

According to general manager Tom Heckert, there were three wide receivers the team considered "legitimate guys." This list presumably includes Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Wright. Blackmon and Floyd were taken in the top 13.

If the Browns thought Wright was the last of the best receivers, they should've moved ahead of Tenneessee, which drafted Wright at No. 20. The Browns had to know the Titans were interested because Tennessee had four of the top receiver prospects, including Wright, in for pre-draft visits. Moving three or four spots up would've cost the Browns a third-round pick.

Heckert said there was no frustration over failing to add a receiver in the first three rounds.

"We could have taken a receiver. We don’t want to take a receiver just to take a receiver," he said Friday night. "If we didn’t get a receiver and we didn’t get a good player, we might be [frustrated]. But we are happy with the guys we took, we really are.”

You can't fault the Browns for passing on a wide receiver early in the second round. The Browns had to address right tackle at that point because they couldn't go into a season with Oniel Cousins as the starter there.

By the time the Browns were on the clock in the third round, there were no other deep threats remaining. Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill (New York Jets) and LSU's Rueben Randle (New York Giants) both were drafted in the second round.

Heckert said there is a chance the Browns might take a wide receiver in the final four rounds Saturday. The draft resumes at noon.

“We still have some picks left. There are some guys that we do like," Heckert said. "We’ll see what happens after tomorrow and then we can discuss if we don’t have any.”