Browns general manager Tom Heckert held his predraft press conference on Thursday and offered a little insight into what the team is thinking a week before the first round picks are made.
Major stress on “a little.” People don’t tend to tip their hand and Heckert’s no exception. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that he did say the Browns knew who they would take with the fourth pick in the draft without, of course, revealing who that player might be. He did share some thoughts about the possibilities.
Of Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Heckart said that the Browns wouldn’t shy away from picking a running back that high and he said that Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon is in the same class as A.J. Green. Blackmon and Richardson were deemed “class, class guys” and Heckert said the Browns hope to get a player like that.
He called reports that quarterback Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M flew up their draft board after a strong workout incorrect, noting that it was just a workout and that he’s “never really” seen a bad one. LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne also drew praise from the Browns general manager and he said going to see USC T Matt Kalil was necessary because he could be there when the Browns are on the clock.
So, basically, they are likely to wind up with one of the players that just about everyone has been projecting them to wind up with since draft talk really got going.
All of that is contingent on the Browns actually making that fourth pick. Heckert didn’t rule out a trade — “If there’s a similar player, why not? Why wouldn’t you do it?” — and said there are 18 players on their board with first round grades. The Browns also have the 22nd overall pick as a result of last year’s trade with the Falcons involving Julio Jones.