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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Could The Browns Draft For Defense At No. 4?

The Washington Redskins' trade to acquire the No. 2 pick to draft Robert Griffin III has completely changed the game and opened things up for the Browns in the top five of the 2012 NFL Draft. Until recently, the projections for drafting an offensive player, whether that be Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, or now even Ryan Tannehill, were near unanimous. Now, some project the Browns to go with defense at No. 4. Among those mock experts is Peter Schrager of Fox Spots, who has Tom Heckert taking a stud cornerback to play opposite Joe Haden.

Via Peter Schrager of Fox Sports:

Everyone's got Trent Richardson going to Cleveland with the fourth overall pick, but I can't see the Browns passing on a talent like Claiborne. Scouts like him more than Patrick Peterson, Claiborne's LSU teammate and the fifth overall selection from a year ago.

The league's a passing one now. You can't have too many elite cornerbacks. Joe Haden and Claiborne would make for one heck of a starting cornerback duo.

Like Kalil with Joe Thomas, matching Claiborne with Haden is certainly an enticing proposition which would give the Browns a huge advantage on the defensive side of the ball.

For more on the Cleveland Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature. For more on the NFL Draft, check out the SB Nation NFL Draft hub.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.