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A done deal

March 10, 2012 - Mike McLain
According to reports from "Fox sports" and "ESPN," the Washington Redskins have acquired the second overall pick in the NFL draft from the St. Louis Rams in a blockbuster trade that undoubtedly means the Redskins will select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The deal also means that the Browns have lost out in the RG3 sweepstakes. Reports indicate that the Browns were aggressive in trying to land the number two pick and were prepared to give up three first-round picks. They presumably would have included both of their first-round picks this season -- numbers 4 and 22.

The Browns thought they had a good chance to make the deal, but the Rams decided to make the trade with the Redskins, who reportedly will give up first-rounds picks this year and in 2012 and 2013, along with this year's second-round pick. The first-rounder this year is sixth overall.

This set of events could or could not be considered a setback to the Browns, depending upon how you view their offer. They would have given up a considerable amount of quality picks and perhaps set back the rebuilding process in they had made the trade. On the flip side, if they beileve Griffin is the next great quarterback, not being able to select him is a blow.

The Browns now can either stand pat with three of the top 37 picks or, as was the case in two of the last three seasons, trade down. With the need to land impact players, trading down wouldn't be a wise choice.

Don't forget the possibility of the Browns using the fourth pick on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, who won the Thorpe Award as college football's best defensive back last season. Adding Claiborne to a secondary that has a quality cornerback in Joe Haden would potentially give the Browns the best set of corners in the NFL.

To do that, the Browns must first set up the selection of Claiborne by adding help in offensive areas of need in free agency. Signing a receiver and perhaps a quarterback (Matt Flynn comes to mind) would fill two areas and make the selection of a defensive player an easier sell to the fans.

The Browns could still address the offense with the 22nd and 37th picks. Look for a running back to be used on one of those picks.

Not being able to land Griffin is definitely a blow, but in the long run it might turn out for the best because of the heavy price the Browns would have had to pay to move up.


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