Offensive Positions Outside QB Are The Way Browns Should Go

With the NFL Draft set to begin on Thursday night and the Browns heavily involved in the first two days with three picks at 4, 22, and 37, there’s plenty of different routes that the Browns could take in attempting to improve an anemic offense and a defense with a need for more playmakers. You don’t hear me talk NFL Draft too often, primarily because I fail to see the point of getting entrenched in draft talk months before the draft or before the season is over. With that said, here is some of what I’m thinking about the Browns’ plan of attack for Thursday through Saturday.

  • I want Trent Richardson at four. Yeah, running backs don’t have the shelf life that quarterbacks do. But, if you keep drafting left tackles, quarterbacks, and defensive ends only because they have longer careers, it’s going to be hard to find the playmakers you need in the lower rounds and in free agency. If Richardson truly is the biggest running back in the draft since Adrian Peterson, you’ve got to take him. Peterson has been in the league for five years now and been at the top of the league from the beginning. If Peterson gives only 2-3 more years at the top, that’s a pretty good run. I’ll take 7-8 years of a top flight running back with a higher chance of success than a QB I don’t believe in who if he hits could be here 10-12 years. That’s if we’re able to sign him to a second contract.
  • Which brings me to the Ryan Tannehill talk that has been a little bit exhausting. The overwhelming statement from the pro-Tannehill camp has been, “if you think he’s the franchise quarterback, you HAVE to take him at four.” I couldn’t possibly agree more with this. The problem is I don’t think he is the guy nor do I think the Browns believe he is either. I can turn that around and tell the Tannehillers that “you can’t take a quarterback at four just because you need one and you hope he can become a franchise guy.” If there are more sure things in positions of need and they’re the best players available (Richardson & Claiborne), you have to go grab one of them.
  • There’s a difference between believing Colt McCoy is the guy and tolerating him for one more season as you improve the rest of the team for the next guy. Some Tannehillers fail to realize that it seems.
  • I know this would tick a lot of people off, but I wouldn’t have any problem with Morris Claiborne at four either. The Browns have a nice core of young players on their defense for years to come in Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, Ahtyba Rubin, Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, D’Qwell Jackson, and Chris Gocong. Adding Claiborne to compliment Haden would only improve a pass defense that ranked near the top for most of the year. Of course, a primary reason for that was the porous run defense, but that will hopefully be addressed with drafting for depth on the D-line in later rounds.
  • I really hope that a quality receiver worthy of being selected at 22 is still there when we pick. I originally was all for taking Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, but I’ve softened on that stance, given the high number of receivers who could make close to the same impact in the later part of the first round. This includes Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill, and Alshon Jeffery. Malcolm Floyd will be gone, and the rest could probably be had at 37. I have a lot of confidence in Greg Little as a future number two receiver in this league, and the rest of the Browns receiving group slots into place fairly well (Masssaquoi at three, Cribbs at four) if you add a true number one threat.
  • I’m not a huge Brandon Weeden fan, but I’m okay with him at 37, not 22. If Weeden can step in and be your starter mid-year this year or at the latest to start next season, it’s an intriguing pick in round two. His numbers were phenomenal at Oklahoma State, though the shotgun spread offense will tend to inflate that. It’s pretty clear to me though that he’d be in the mix with the other top guys if he was 22 or 23 years old. My rebuttal would be how is this different from signing a free agent QB on the wrong side of 30? If he can start for you and be effective for even just six or seven seasons, isn’t that worth it? Of course it is! I’m not convinced on Weeden, because I haven’t seen enough film on him to fairly evaluate him. What I do know is that if the only reservation the team has about him is the age factor, then they can and likely will pick him at some point.
  • A right tackle is undoubtedly the third biggest hole on this team. Thank goodness we’re not looking to another terrible year of Tony Pashos manning the spot. I know he was hurt, but the Browns trotting him out there in the shape he was in was flatout pathetic. In order for the Browns O-line to really gel, they need their young guards in Pinkston and Lauvao to continue their development. If the Browns walk out of the top three picks with a wide receiver, running back, and right tackle, I’ll be a happy camper.
  • Something tells me that Heckert will give us another Phil Taylor moment (Who?) as we approach either the 22nd or 37th pick. I could see us trading a few spots up or down at either of those spots. I just hope the Browns don’t get in the business of giving picks away unless they’re in rounds six and seven.



  • My favorite scenario right now is thus:

    4. Trent Richardson (RB)
    22. Jonathon Martin (RT)
    37. Brandon Weeden (QB)

    I also hope we trade up using a 5th or later pick to try to get maybe Michael Floyd at 17, Kendall Wright around 20, Brandon Weeden somewhere in the 2nd round, or something like that. If we want to take Brandon Weeden with one of our first 3 picks, I think we should trade up to address the one position out of RB, WR, or RT we don’t address. This will give us the luxury to add a solid 3rd rounder for depth at maybe LB, WR, S, or CB.

  • Zanon_49

    You can’t trade or give away compensatory picks

  • Ayrton

    I was about to type the same thing before i saw your post. You definitly can’t trade or even give away a compensatory pick. That said,I agree with everything else in the article. Tannehill at four is just ridiculous. I do think we need an upgrade over McCoy before we win but with the QB situation in this years draft its just not the time unless we get Weeden at 37 and even then I am not 100% sure i would draft him there. I think Claiborne could be an amazing addition to Haden and that would give us a little flexibility to move around a few people in the secondary. I will be happy with Trent at 4 to but I just think i would rather get a running back a bit later. They do usually not have the years to play at peak levels like some other positions do so I just hate to get him now and then see him pounded to death for 2 years while we hopefully get competitive.

  • Kirk

    You’re right, guys. My mistake. I actually knew that. My point still stands that we could trade our *own* picks in that range and use our compensatory picks to draft. Thank you, however, for pointing out an oversight on my part.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    It’s for most of the above that I’ve been saying all along the Browns should go Claiborne, WR, RT (assuming they can’t trade down a couple spots, pick up another 2nd rounder, and still get Claiborne) with their first two rounds of picks. Solid piece.

    Also, if Claiborne is gone or if they can get a bunch of picks to move down that they can’t pass up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar combo but they’d take someone like Minniefield in the 3rd round.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Meant to add: I don’t think RBs are worth high picks. I also expect the Browns to add someone like Benson or Addai after the draft if they don’t take a RB in the first two rounds.

  • Mfallstar

    This article outlined my exact wishes in this draft…

  • saggy


    and the Browns should not hesitate to package their #2, #3, and next year’s #3 for an extra first round pick in the low-to-mid teens.  that would potentially mean #4, #12ish, #22.  I don’t care about not picking again until the 4th round if that’s the case.  They can pick up a project QB or sleeper RB in the 4th.  Or even package their 5th rounders to get a shot at the low 3rd or early 4th.

  • MIke

    1. Blackmon
    2. Martin (OT)
    3. Weeden
    4. LB

  • cmm13

    If the Cleveland Browns select Tannehill or Weeden with any of the first three picks it will be a massive failure in the rebuild of this team.

    Neither are franchise NFL quarterbacks which is what this team will need to select as the crown jewel of their rebuild after this draft.

    The combination of rookie talent along with one of the most difficult schedules in the league will most likely land us in the top ten of the 2013 draft.

    It’s at that point that I expect H&H to sell the farm for Barkley or the next “RG3 /über can’t miss freak athlete QB” a la Dan Snyder 2012.

    This draft should be spent on RB, WR and OL with first three. No need to make it harder than it needs to be.

  • Joe Murphy

    You know what I hate, when people say we should trade a 5th rounder for Michael Floyd. I understand you’re only moving 2-6 spots. But flip it around, do you want the Browns to move back 2-6 spots for someone else’s 5th rounder? It doesn’t work that way bud.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    It took a while, but I’m on board for Richardson at 4.  He is the best RB to come out in years, and is exactly the kind of threat that this offense desperately needs.  We would finally have a legit 20 carry per game back who is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.

    Our pick at 22 gets interesting if either Floyd or Blackmon start to fall into the mid-late teens.  I would love to see us trade up to get one of them.  Give up a 3rd this year and a 2nd or 3rd next year.  If that doesn’t happen, take the best WR on the board.  Not a fan of Kendall Wright (too small), but if H & H think he can be the next Desean Jackson then I’m on board, I guess…

    The pick at 37 should then be an OL, preferably a true RT.  I don’t want to take a chance on a guy who has played G or LT his whole career and projects well to RT.  They are different positions, and I want a guy who has experience handling guys coming off the right side.

    If we want to address the defense with one of these picks, I’m OK, with that…but we have to spend at least 2 of the first 3 picks on offense.  Six of our losses last season were by 7 points or less.  The defense is good enough to win most games.  If we can find a way to score one more TD per game, they could be a 6-8 win team.

  • mgbode

    would we trade a 2nd round pick for a 30yo QB who we are not sure is starting material?

    also, Weeden is not good 🙂

  • mgbode

    My favorite scenario has a small chance of happening but there’s enough out there that I am clinging to it.

    Grab Richardson at #4.

    Reiff may be dropping (he’s not really a LT – better at RT) as may Glenn (he’s either a OG or RT).   I would love to grab either at #22 and plug them in at RT.

    I think Sanu is the next Hakeem Nicks.  If he somehow lasts to #37, then we get a steal.

    Lots of WOLB should be there for our 3rd round pick.  Or if Lavonte David drops into the mid-2nd round we may be able to use our vast resources of picks to trade up for him.

  • DontbringLBJback

    I really hope they take TRich at #4…. I have this sick, nauseous, empty feeling (that same feeling that you get after we lose to the Squeelers, or the Ratbirds) that H & H think Jackson can come back and be a solid NFL running back.

    I have nightmares of them selecting Tannehill at #4.  Please Lord, don’t let it be reality!!!

    Go Browns!

  • Sam

    He was good enough enough to beat luck, griffin, tannehill, and landry jones

  • Sam

    I sure hope you mean Michael Floyd because Malcolm has been in the league for 8 years

  • mgbode

    OMG.  He did that all by himself!

    Ken Dorsey, Rex Grossman and a ton of other QBs won quite a few games in college beating other highly ranked QB prospects along the way.   Vince Young beat some really good QBs (college and the NFL) and he’s a FA.    Maybe we should just sign him.

    Kellen Moore beat Andy Dalton.  Perhaps we should draft him in the 1st round?

  • mgbode

    I think this is the best RB-class to come out in the last few years.

    Between Richardson, Miller, Martin, Wilson, Polk, and others there are alot of good prospects.   As long as we use one of our top3 picks on a RB, I think we get a really good one.

    The only question is which combination of WR/RB/RT you like the best (as I believe there are ‘value’ picks to be had at each of our spots for those positions)

  • mgbode

    “This draft should be spent on RB, WR and OL with first three.”

    Yessir.   Days ticking away now.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    So, why is the general concensus that Brandon Weeden is basically this plug-and-play guy who is ready to start right now (or even mid-season)?  He didn’t play in a pro-style offense in college, he played in basically the same type of system as Colt McCoy.  He needs at least one year as a backup to learn the offense.  After that, you would think it will take at least as much time for him to get used to the speed of the NFL and get his feet wet.  It seems to me like Weeden’s age is confusing people… it might not be quite the huge detriment that people originally thought it was, but we need to realize that there really is not a counter-balancing positive regarding his age.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    BTW, this comment is not aimed at Kirk, it’s really just taking the temperature of everyone’s comments and getting something off my chest.

  • cmm13

    Doug Flutie once beat Bernie Kosar in a pretty big college football game, looking back on their respective careers would you rather Flutie helmed those Browns teams?

  • cmm13

    Personally I think Weeden’s age is the reason he becomes a “you must be ready to play him now” guy.

    I can agree that his college resume would have him sitting for at least 1-2 years while learning a pro-style NFL offense.

    The problem being that his age would dictate that you cannot allow him to sit 1-2 years, you have to see if he can play now.

    I read someone else mentioning KC would be the perfect gamble on him in that they have all the weapons ready to go and Cassell as well.

    The last thing the Browns need is a 30 year old, rookie quarterback who needs to learn the WCO for 1-2 before being ready to play at the NFL level; especially one who was selected with the #22 or #37 pick.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I agree, that’s the same reason that I would not be very happy about picking up Brandon Weeden.  If the Browns want to grab a QB I’d rather they wait until the later rounds… someone who they think has the specific skills to fit the WCO who can develop behind McCoy.  I’d much rather see those earlier picks used on WR/RB/RT/CB and even OLB.

  • cmm13

    I have been hiding my secret obsession with snagging Upshaw somewhere in there due to the needs of offense.

    But yes, no QB with the first 3 picks.

    If they want to take a run on Foles in the 4th or 5th, so be it.

  • mgbode

    Foles or Osweiler or even Coleman/Lindley.   As long as it’s 4th or later.

  • cmm13


  • Jim Brown

        When Mike Holmgren claims that Colt McCoy is his guy, I believe
    him as much as people believed John Elway when he stated, matter of
    factly, that Tim Tebow was his guy and he was going to stick with
    him…lol.   Colt McCoy is what the Cleveland Browns are stuck with,
    until the Browns management is able to get an NFL caliber quarterback
    for their team.  What do you get when you put the best NFL line and the
    best receiving corps together with Colt McCoy, that’s easy…a losing
    NFL football team.  It’s not rocket science, and no matter what spin
    Mike Holmgren puts on it, when he tells himself the truth, he knows
    that currently the Cleveland Browns don’t have a single NFL caliber
    quarterback on their team and he knows it.      To give you a
    perspective here, Tim Tebow is a 5 times better NFL caliber quarterback
    than any quarterback currently on the Cleveland Browns roster!!!! 
    That fact is pretty sad when you sit down and think about it, and it
    clearly shows how bad the Cleveland management has done the past
    several years!

  • Jaker

    love Sanu at 37, with TRich and OT in round 1, Id be very happy. Mychal Kendricks(LB) or Brandon Taylor(S) in round 3 would be impact players to add to our young D and Minnifield in round 4 for depth and trade the other 4th rounder for Asante Samuel(his big contract makes his price pretty cheap, and it comes off the books when Haden is ready for his new contract) yes yes yes

    rounds 5-7 will be for depth, especially dline and a project QB