In 2011, the Cleveland Browns could not find their tempo offensively. Colt McCoy often found himself on his back as the offensive line could not protect him. The wide receiving core in Cleveland could arguably be one of the worst in the league, along with Denver, Jacksonville, and St. Louis. With that being said, I believe it is fair to say that something NEEDS to be done in this off-season to get the league’s 29th ranked offense a kick start for the 2012 season.
In the 2012 off-season, the Browns need to address:
1) Their lack of offensive production: In 2011, the Browns had the 24th ranked pass offense, and the 28th ranked run offense. Going into the season everyone thought that the Madden Cover Boy, Peyton Hillis, was the answer to the offensive problems in Cleveland. Well, throughout the season Hillis was consistently hurt and some reports even said he was faking illness to try and get a contract extension. Too much drama has surrounded Hillis and I do not see Cleveland re-signing him in this off-season (Hillis is a free agent). I believe they need to address Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back, and Outside Linebacker in the upcoming draft. If there are no trades leading up to the number four pick, I believe the Browns will draft Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III. I believe Colt McCoy is an average quarterback, and if the Browns do decide to draft Griffin III, they will allow both quarterbacks to compete for the number one job. Other possible prospects that the Browns could draft are: Justin Blackmon (WR/Oklahoma St.) and Trent Richardson (RB/Alabama).
2) With Andrew Luck almost being a 100% lock as the Colts number one pick, Robert Griffin III is going to be a hot commodity come the number two overall pick. Teams like the Browns, Redskins, Dolphins and Seahawks could all trade up and draft the Baylor quarterback. Depending on what happens in free agency with Matt Flynn, and the looming contract problem with Peyton Manning and the Colts, a few of these teams may not be on the list of teams to trade up come draft day. The way I see it is the Browns and Redskins will ultimately be the two biggest suitors for Robert Griffin III. Let’s say the worst case scenario comes along for the Browns, and the Rams draft Justin Blackmon, the Redskins trade up with the Vikings for Griffin III, who is there left to draft? I believe Trent Richardson would be the guy they would go with to fill that running back need in Cleveland (if they don’t re-sign Hillis).
3) Addressing both First Round Picks: Not only are the Browns drafting at number four overall, but they also have the 22nd overall pick due to the Julio Jones trade with the Atlanta Falcons from the 2011 draft. If they trade up for Robert Griffin III they would most likely have to give up the 4th and the 22nd pick. But if they draft someone else with that pick, let’s say Trent Richardson, they could very well address the wide receiver need. Wide receivers who could be available to the Browns at the 22nd pick are: Kendall Wright (RG3’s WR at Baylor), Michael Floyd, Alshon Jeffery, Mohamed Sanu, and Rueben Randle.
Top Free Agents – 1) Peyton Hillis – RB
Written By – David Rantisi- NFL Draft and Scouting Combine Writer
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