The Browns made the first national news of the NFL Draft Thursday night some 45 minutes before the process even got underway.
In an effort to guarantee they’d get their targeted man, the Browns traded up a spot from No. 4 to No. 3 to nab Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
“As we went through the process, we knew he was our guy,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “So we did what we had to do to secure it. We had pretty good knowledge there were teams behind us that wanted him as well, so we gave up a couple picks to make sure we got him.”
In order to nab Richardson, the Browns gave Minnesota fourth, fifth and seventh-round picks.
The Browns, which entered the first night of the draft with 13 picks, still have fourth and seventh-round selections.
In 13 games last season with the Crimson Tide, Richardson rushed for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also hauled in 29 receptions for 338 yards.
“(Richardson’s) passionate, productive and durable,” Shurmur said.
Richardson becomes the highest running back ever drafted by the Browns. Legendary Jim Brown went sixth overall in 1957.
Not long after the selection, Shurmur was all smiles as he briefly met with reporters at Browns head quarters in Berea to talk about Richardson.
Here’s some the question and answers during the conversation:
Q) Did your interest in Richardson begin at his Pro Day?
A) “No, I had evaluated him. I worked for Nick Saban for three years, so I knew the program that he played in. It was easy to see. Prior to Pro Day, we had hours and hours of work done. (Pro Day) was just a way for me to confirm in my mind that he was going to be our guy.”
Q) How much will this help (quarterback) Colt (McCoy)?
A) “An excellent running game and a terrific runner helps any quarterback.”
Q) Bill Polian said he doesn’t see any weaknesses with Richardson.
A) “He can run with power, he can make you miss, when he gets in the open, he can score. I like the fact that when he’s asked to pass protect, he’ll do it aggressively. And when you throw him the football, he catches it.”
Q) How important is it to get dependability at running back?
A) “I think dependability in a player is very important. The other guys on the team, the coaches, our fans and the people who root for us, they need to know a player’s gonna show up.”