I know Alabama running back Trent Richardson is the consensus pick, the safest pick.
I can still hear LaDainian Tomlinson’s mother telling me before the 2001 draft that she hoped the Browns selected the charity-minded TCU running back because of what he could do for the Cleveland community.
But I’m still hoping the Browns come out of the NFL draft with an Oklahoma State package – wide receiver Justin Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden.
I know No. 4 is probably too high to draft Blackmon, who supposedly can’t compare with A.J. Green or Julio Jones, the best receivers in last year’s draft. But I look at the 40 touchdowns Blackmon has scored in three years, 38 in the past two seasons, and think that his addition to an offense devoid of playmakers is exactly what the Browns need.
I remember new offensive coordinator Brad Childress talking about the West Coast offense in February and saying that it’s all about the YAC – yards after the catch. That’s where Blackmon could instantly help.
I also keep thinking about the Browns’ 2007 season and the special chemistry quarterback Derek Anderson and receiver Braylon Edwards showed. That’s when Edwards scored 16 touchdowns, breaking Gary Collins’ single-season record of 13 that had stood since 1963. That’s what Weeden and Blackmon could do if paired together. Weeden threw 75 TD passes in his final three seasons, 40 to Blackmon.
Other than 2007, the Browns have rarely seen that chemistry in the expansion era, even when Kevin Johnson was scoring eight touchdowns in 1999 and nine in 2001. Even in the good old days of Bernie Kosar, the Browns never relied on one big-play receiver. Webster Slaughter’s single-season high for touchdowns was seven (in 1987), Reggie Langhorne’s was seven (in 1988) and Brian Brennan’s was six (in 1987 and ’88).
Blackmon could be the game-breaker Edwards was for only one year.
Other thoughts on draft day: