Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are expected to be drafted first and second overall, respectively, by the Colts and Redskins. USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil is the heavy favorite to be picked third by the Vikings.
The NFL draft is expected to get interesting at the fourth pick, when the Cleveland Browns go on the clock. Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer broke down the Browns’ options in a Sunday column.
Manoloff considers Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill an “unlikely” option for Cleveland at No. 4, arguing that he wouldn’t beat out incumbent starter Colt McCoy in a camp battle and Tannehill’s “highlight reel lacks ‘wow factor’ throws.”
Manoloff’s article doesn’t rule out a trade down from No. 4, but calls LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne a “doubtful” pick at four. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer also has the Browns passing on Claiborne, instead eyeing an offensive playmaker.
The Plain Dealer calls Alabama running back Trent Richardson an “entirely possible” No. 4 selection, and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon “conceivable.” Cabot’s mock has the Browns picking Blackmon.
So if the newspaper that covers the Browns most closely is correct, Mike Holmgren’s team will be using a first-round pick on an offensive skill-position player for the first time since 2007 (Brady Quinn). Cleveland hasn’t used its first pick in a draft on a skill player since 2005 (Braylon Edwards).