Deciphering the Cleveland Browns' intentions for the 2012 NFL Draft has become a popular parlor game in NFL circles. Do they go with a quarterback like Ryan Tannehill? Trent Richardson to replace Peyton Hillis? Justin Blackmon to give Colt McCoy another weapon? Or do they make a trade somewhere else in the first round?
Don Banks goes the weapons route in his latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft at SI.com. In his vision for how things unfold in April, the Browns hang onto their two first-round picks and stock up on offensive skill players.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson is the fourth pick in Banks' mock. Here is his explanation:
Like others, I've come around to the conclusion the Browns don't view Tannehill as a clear-cut upgrade over incumbent quarterback Colt McCoy. That leaves Cleveland choosing between a pair of offensive weapons in Richardson and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon. On the premise that a quality receiver can be had by the Browns at No. 22, taking the only elite running back in the draft is the logical path for the team that lost Peyton Hillis in free agency.
With the 22nd pick, Banks has the Browns selecting Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd.
If the Browns could come away with Richardson and Floyd in the first round, adding two impact playmakers on offense, maybe Colt McCoy really would start to look like the long-term answer at quarterback.
Get even more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, scouting reports, teams needs, etc. at Mocking the Draft. For more Colts coverage, check out Dawgs By Nature. Be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for the broader view.