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2012 NFL Draft: SI's Don Banks Giving Browns Justin Blackmon

There is increasing sentiment that the Cleveland Browns may want to draft a quarterback at the No. 4 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, even if Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are both gone, which now appears to be a certainty with the Washington Redskins moving into the No. 2 slot. It's not the popular choice, but again, it's starting to seem like a real possibility with some people, along with the thought that Cleveland could try to move back in the draft, on top of that.

Still, the most popular pick for Cleveland in mock drafts has been and continues to be wide receiver Justin Blackmon. That remains the case for Don Banks of Sports Illustrated in his Mock Draft 3.0:

The Browns have a lot of different options sitting in the spot where this draft starts to get interesting, but I don't sense they're in love with any of them. They seem to think it's too high to take Tannehill, and are going to hew back to Colt McCoy as the answer at quarterback. Claiborne would make sense here, but how do you go defense with your first-round pick when you've got a crying need for an offensive playmaker who can help out McCoy's game? Alabama running back Trent Richardson seems to be the popular choice here, and he could be their guy. But I'm going with Blackmon on the logic that there have been more top-10 impact receivers of late than running backs. Because of that, Richardson could fall into the teens.

When most suggest Ryan Tannehill as an option, they assume that the Browns are done with Colt McCoy. But that's not Banks' opinion, nor is it one illustrated by how the Browns have been handling free agency, either. Cleveland didn't make a run at Peyton Manning or really, any of the quarterbacks available. Still, Blackmon makes a ton of sense, given the lack of weapons on that offense.

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