1 - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama (5-9, 228)
1 - Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State (6-4, 221)
2 - Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California (6-5, 318)
3 - John Hughes, DT, Cincinnati (6-3, 309)
4 - Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami-Florida (5-10, 172)
4 - James-Michael Johnson, ILB, Nevada (6-1, 241)
5 - Ryan Miller, OT, Colorado (6-7, 321)
6 - Emmanuel Acho, OLB, Texas (6-2, 238)
6 - Billy Winn, DT, Boise State (6-4, 294)
7 - Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona (5-10, 192)
7 - Brad Smelley, FB, Alabama (6-2, 238)
Top Picks Analysis: The Browns came in with the goal of boosting one of the NFL's most anemic offenses and started the makeover by moving up one spot to the No. 3 position to reel in the supremely talented Richardson, a complete running back with exceptional power and the speed to break off big gains outside. The Heisman Trophy finalist is also a fine receiver and willing pass blocker, and his lone knock is that he's so physical that there's a threat of a shortened career. Weeden's pro tenure has already been curtailed, as the former minor league pitcher will be 29 years old come October, but he's mature and composed and sports a superior arm than incumbent Colt McCoy. He'll get every chance to claim the starting job in camp as long as can grasp the system. Cleveland also had a hole at right tackle that it intends to fill with Schwartz, a gritty and intelligent four-year starter at Cal with average athleticism but pro-ready technique. Defense was finally addressed with the third-round selection of Hughes, a rotational run-stopper with limited pass- rush skills and upside.
Best Value Pick: Winn is a good athlete with a quick first step who may be able to contribute as an interior pass rusher. Considered in many circles to be a better prospect than Hughes, he slid to the bottom of the sixth round primarily due to maturity and motivation concerns.
Questionable Calls: There were a few. Hughes looks like a massive reach in the third round, and it's debatable as to whether general manager Tom Heckert needed to spend a first-round pick on Weeden when he would have likely been still available at Cleveland's No. 37 spot. That selection may have been better served by obtaining a field-stretching wide receiver, something the Browns didn't address until the fourth-round choice of return specialist Benjamin. And since Minnesota wasn't going to take Richardson at No. 3, trading up a place seemed like a needless move.
Summary: The Browns did get a cornerstone player in Richardson, but the jury's still out about many of Heckert's other decisions, a few of which he may have jumped the gun on. If Weeden quickly develops into a capable quarterback that can ignite Cleveland's dormant passing game, the mark below will be significantly higher. But his lack of seasoning in a pro system raises questions as to whether that can be the case, and his window is already closing. With the Browns' bounty of picks and advantageous positions, this draft could have been much more than what they actually got.
FINAL GRADE: C
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