Yesterday in SDB’s community mock, it was decided Matt Kalil would be chosen by the Minnesota Vikings with the #3 overall pick. The USC offensive tackle received 93% of the votes, with second placed Justin Blackmon a long way back at just a meagre 3%. It means the first three picks are in and this is how it looks so far:
#1 Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
#2 Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
#3 Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
On to pick #4 and the Cleveland Browns…
This is where things get interesting. The Browns seemingly have four legitimate options. They could draft a playmaker at running back in Trent Richardson – arguably the best player remaining on the board and a potential superstar for a city that needs one badly. Although many teams are starting to avoid drafting for the position early, Richardson is that rare player who could defy the trend. Mike Holmgren built an offense around a timing passing game and a stud running back/offensive line in Seattle and drafting Richardson could move the Browns closer to emulating that. Richardson appears to be made for the AFC North.
However, this is a deep draft for running backs and the Browns have two more picks at the bottom of the first and the top of the second. There’s also a strong need at receiver and Justin Blackmon would be a big benefit to whoever ends up being the starting quarterback next year. Some have touted the possibility of reuniting Blackmon with his Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden as Cleveland searches for an actual offense. Is Blackmon worth the #4 pick though? That’s the big issue. Especially when there’s depth at receiver and likely to be other options at #22.
Holmgren and his staff showed their appreciation for the cornerback position when they drafted Joe Haden with the #7 pick in 2010. He’s had a solid start to his career in Cleveland, but the Browns are in the market for another corner. Morris Claiborne’s name has been put forward by some projectionists as a possibility at #4. Given the team’s needs on offense I think it’s unlikely, but if the Browns aren’t sold on Richardson or Blackmon and can’t move down, perhaps the LSU cornerback becomes a realistic option?
The big debate surrounding Cleveland this off-season has been the dilemma at quarterback. The Browns couldn’t get a deal done with St. Louis for Robert Griffin III and they avoided free agent options like Matt Flynn. GM Tom Heckert insists Colt McCoy has the team’s backing, but it appeared to be a token vote of confidence given all the speculation following the team. The appointment of Brad Childress as offensive coordinator was intriguing – considering his experience with the Andy Reid offense and mobile quarterbacks. Perhaps they consider Ryan Tannehill at #4? It’d be a major reach in my opinion, but is it realistic?