Joe Haden analyzes 2012 NFL Draft

Joe Haden talks about the draft picks, and also explains that the offseason preparation will help the defense get better.

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Browns make bold moves in first round

Alabama running back Trent Richardson holds up a Cleveland jersey and stands next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Cleveland Browns select him as the #3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 26, 2012. UPI /John Angelillo

After the first two quarterbacks, there was one great player in the NFL Draft, and the Browns made sure they got him by trading up from #4 to #3 to grab Trent Richardson. There are conflicting reports about whether Minnesota really had other offers on the table, but the Browns paid a small price for certainty, which makes sense when you have a stud like Richardson.

I also love the selection of Brandon Weeden. It sounds like the Browns would have nabbed Kendall Wright at #22 had he been there and then traded up to get Weeden, but they obviously decided to pull the trigger and not risk losing Weeden once Wright was gone.

I was willing to give Colt McCoy another year, as he faced serious challenges last year with a new system, no offseason, the Hillis drama and problems on the O-line. But that said, we desperately needed to upgrade the quarterback position. Now we have a guy with size and a big arm.

I’m tired of seeing the Browns get pushed around by teams like the Steelers and Ravens, and now we have a badass running back along with a big quarterback with a big arm.

It also looks like many of the players the Browns would be considering at #22 will be available around pick #37, with several wide receivers and offensive linemen. My preference right now is Stephen Hill, as he adds more size and serious speed at wide receiver. With Richardson running the ball, and with a Weeden/Hill threat for deep passes, defensive coordinators will have serious issues to face when game planning against the Browns.

If Hill isn’t there, there are plenty of other good options. Let’s see how day 2 goes . . .

Mel Kiper’s potential draft scenario for the Browns

Trent Richardson. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Mel Kiper has a new post in the ESPN “IN” section (subscription only) where he sets out a potential “Grade A” draft for each team. He does it without any duplicates.

I like this scenario for the Browns, as I love Weeden and Richardson. I also like Cordy Glenn at 22 as he would solidify right tackle and help give the Browns a very tough running game.

That said, the Browns desperately need another receiver, so I would probably prefer the best available receiver at 22 and then get some right tackle prospects in the 3rd or 4th round.

Top needs: QB, RB, WR, RT, CB, OLB

Rd 1 (4) RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
Rd 1 (22) T/G Cordy Glenn, Georgia
Rd 2 (37) QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St.
Rd 3 (67) CB Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette

Analysis: Richardson is simply a home run at No. 4. You rarely say that about a running back taken so high, but he has such a high floor as a prospect — the only downside is injury, and that’s such a perpetual issue, one that extends far beyond the running back position if you’re looking close. Glenn is a versatile player who Cleveland will move to right tackle. He can be dominant as a run-blocker and has great initial pop, and with his presence, Joe Thomas on the left side and Richardson in the backfield, Cleveland has to feel pretty confident in an upgrade for the ground attack. Weeden is capable of pushing Colt McCoy right away (he’s a few years older) and could be a steal. So he’s older — if the Browns get 6-8 good years from him, will anybody really care? Bentley is a nice piece at corner, where the team can use some help, even though I consider this a pretty good secondary.

Ryan Tannehill vs Oklahoma

Here’s a video of every throw Ryan Tannehill made against Oklahoma. He makes a terrible throw for an interception at around the 1:10 mark and then rolls out and makes a nice throw on the run for a touchdown after the 3-minute mark.

He definitely has talent, but is he worth a top ten pick, let alone the #4 pick? I’ll trust Mike Holmgren here, but I still prefer Trent Richardson at #4 or a trade down.

Browns keep everyone guessing

Peter King talks about the Browns in his recent column about the NFL Draft:

2. The Browns are the pivot point of the first round at No. 4. You have the big quarterbacks going 1-2, and then Minnesota is praying it can stir up interest at No. 3. Not going to happen, according to the teams I’ve talked to, because there isn’t enough love for another of these five prospects — tackle Matt Kalil, running back Trent Richardson, cornerback Morris Claiborne, wideout Justin Blackmon or quarterback Ryan Tannehill to move up to three. Or four.

If the Vikings stay where they are, it’s most likely they go for the long-term protector of second-year QB Christian Ponder instead of a desperately needed cover man like Claiborne. Then, Cleveland. I heard different things over the weekend from people I trust. GM Tom Heckert loves Blackmon and that would be his pick; president Mike Holmgren is still trying to decide with finality if Tannehill is the franchise quarterback worth taking here. The safest pick? Richardson, at a need position, even though receiver is a bigger need.

The Browns are obviously keeping all their options open and I suspect that they haven’t finalized their decision. Everything King said makes sense, but any or all of it could be misinformation floated by the Browns in order to influence other teams in the draft so the Browns can get the trade they want or the player they want at #4. If they want Richardson, for example, they might be worried about Tampa Bay trading up to #3 with the Vikings to get him.

Barring a trade, I still prefer Trent Richardson at #4, then hopefully the best wide receiver at #22 and then Brandon Weeden at #37. As King notes, everything may hinge on how Mike Holmgren feels about the quarterbacks. I’m not pulling for the Browns to get Ryan Tannehill, but if Holmgren thinks he can be a franchise quarterback, then they have to consider taking him.

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