Report: Cleveland Browns Considering Trading Down From No.4 In 2012 NFL Draft

By Robert D. Cobb

CLEVELAND, OH – According to sources close to Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert, Cleveland may trade down from No. 4 in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Per NFL fantasy football site, Gridiron Experts via Twitter, Heckert is “leaning towards” trading the Browns out of the top-five of the draft for the third time in four years.

In 2009, Cleveland would trade down three times No. 5 to No.21 with the New York Jets to land center Alex Mack out of Cal.

In 2010, the Browns would trade with the Atlanta Falcons from No.6 to No. 27—and trade up with the Kansas City Chiefs to No.21 to select Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor.

The Falcons and Jets would use the picks from the Browns to select quarterback Mark Sanchez out of USC and wide receiver Julio Jones out of Alabama respectively.

Such a move cannot come as a surprise as Heckert would state in The Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Browns may trade down—possibly with St Louis at No.6, who covets former Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Justin Blackmon, or the Miami Dolphins who covet former Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

If the Browns are to trade down, they would most likely miss out on the likes of Blackmon, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson and target Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff, Stanford guard David DeCastro, South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram or Alabama defensive end/linebacker Courtney Upshaw in the middle to lower half of the first round.

Cleveland has been linked to be in trade discussions with the Rams, as the most likely trade partner with Cleveland as they would be able to land a better value of picks in return—most likely the Ram’s 2012 third round pick, 65th overall.

With holes in vital areas on offense such as running back, wide receiver, offensive line and possibly at quarterback that need to be addressed, members of the rabid and loud “Dawg Pound” should not be to surprised if Heckert does indeed decide that trading down may be the best—and wisest—move for Cleveland.

Follow me on Twitter, @RobertCobb_76

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