When I am asked what I think of the selections made by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft, the word "interesting" is what comes to my mind. Not "disappointing". Not "frustrating". "Interesting".
For example, the Browns have been criticized by some national media pundits as well as local fans for trading up from the fourth pick to the third pick, when the Browns selected Alabama RB Trent Richardson. Without a doubt, Richardson was the player I wanted the Browns to select, and I am willing to suggest most Browns fans did as well. Can you imagine how the media would have crucified the Browns if they did not make that deal? Yes, the Browns may have been hoodwinked by the Minnesota Vikings, but honestly, giving up three later draft choices to ensure your organization is able to secure the player your offense desperately needs was an easy decision to make.
The selection of QB Brandon Weeden was the first of the "interesting" twists. I believed the Browns were going to select Weeden in the second round, but from what I understand, the Browns were scared some other team may have picked Weeden before their second round pick, so the Browns selected Weeden with their second first-round pick.
The remainder of the Browns' selections seemed to me a reflection and a belief in their scouting board. Instead of selecting wide receivers in the second and third round, the Browns instead selected OT Mitchell Schwartz and DL John Hughes.
Again, I truly do not know what type of grades Schwartz and Hughes held, but Tom Heckert and the Browns' scouting department obviously believed both players were of higher value than any of the wide receivers available in either scenario. Reaching to fulfill a need at a position is where teams get in trouble, and the Browns did not select a wide receiver until the fourth round. Even so, Miami WR Travis Benjamin is more of a special teams returner going into training camp.
Even after selecting Benjamin, other receivers were bypassed in order to select other positions. Again, I applaud Heckert and the Browns for staying true to their scouting board.
We shall see this fall, and in future years, how the Browns fared in this draft. The 2012 NFL Draft was "interesting" because of the Browns, and Browns fans can only hope those thoughts translate into victories on the field this coming fall and winter.