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    Cleveland Browns 2012 Draft Preview

    1:53 PM, Apr 17, 2012   |    comments
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    (Sports Network) - Perhaps no one has more riding on this draft than the Browns' brain trust of president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert, who are armed with an abundance of picks as the result of several trades and compensatory offerings but have a number of big decisions to make that will shape the future of the struggling franchise. The most pivotal one may come at quarterback, where Colt McCoy has been serviceable yet unspectacular in his two seasons on the job while often being handcuffed by a mediocre supporting cast. Ascending Texas A&M signal-caller Ryan Tannehill is a realistic candidate for Cleveland's fourth overall selection if Holmgren and Heckert deem him worthy of going that high, or the team may opt to wait until its other first-round choice (No. 22) or the second round (No. 37) and target a less-valued prospect like Michigan State's Kirk Cousins or Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden. Since the Browns possessed arguably the league's worst receiving corps last season and let running back Peyton Hillis walk in free agency, coveted Oklahoma State wideout Justin Blackmon or Alabama workhorse Trent Richardson are also in play at No. 4 if they pass on Tannehill. A starting-caliber right offensive tackle will also draw serious consideration in the early rounds after Cleveland let go of brittle veteran Tony Pashos. However Holmgren and Heckert determine to play it out, this will be a draft heavily geared towards boosting the NFL's 29th-ranked offense in 2011.

    2011 Record: 4-12

    Top Needs: RT, WR, RB, QB

    First Three Picks: No. 4, No. 22, No. 37

    Number of Selections: 13 (1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7)

    RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2011 - Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor); 2010 - Joe Haden (CB, Florida); 2009 - Alex Mack (C, California); 2008 - none; 2007 - Joe Thomas (OT, Wisconsin), Brady Quinn (QB, Notre Dame); 2006 - Kamerion Wimbley (LB, Florida State); 2005 - Braylon Edwards (WR, Michigan); 2004 - Kellen Winslow (TE, Miami-Florida); 2003 - Jeff Faine (C, Notre Dame).

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