Browns running backs coach Gary Brown braced himself to no avail as he held a bright red, rectangular blocking pad and went toe-to-toe with one of the elite prospects in this year’s draft.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson hit the target with his hands, extending his powerful arms and launching Brown backward and to the ground.

“Anytime someone’s in my way, I’m going to try to knock them over,” Richardson told reporters. “Either they’re going to hit me or I’m going to hit them. So nine times out of 10 I’m trying to throw the lick.”

Richardson accomplished his goal and certainly got the Browns’ attention during his Pro Day workout Thursday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Brown, who played in the NFL for eight seasons, coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Tom Heckert were among those in attendance, the NFL Network’s Lindsay Rhodes reported. Richardson told reporters he has pre-draft visits scheduled with the Browns, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Richardson, whom the Browns could target with the fourth overall pick, did not work out in February at the NFL Scouting Combine because he was recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

On Thursday, Richardson ran the 40-yard dash and posted times in the 4.45-to-4.49-second range, according to NFL.com. He also bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.

Another notable workout

Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 65-of-68 passes, including two that were dropped, in front of 22 NFL teams during his Pro Day, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The Browns were represented in College Station, Texas, by offensive coordinator Brad Childress and quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple. The Browns have a private workout scheduled with Tannehill and will host him for a pre-draft visit, according to the report.

“[Tannehill] is one of those guys who is capable of doing all the things you need to be able to do,” Childress told the Star-Telegram.

The NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reported Thursday that the Browns are thinking about selecting Tannehill fourth overall. And NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock believes they should do it.

“Potentially, down the road, he could be a franchise quarterback,” Mayock wrote Thursday on NFL.com. “The problem is, he’s not ready to play right now. He’s very raw; he only had 19 starts in college. However, because the NFL is so overheated right now when it comes to finding franchise quarterbacks, I think the kid is probably going to go higher than he should. I think Cleveland has to take him at No. 4, and if they don’t, Miami is sitting there at No. 8.”

Tannehill didn’t work out at the combine because he was rehabilitating from a stress fracture in his right foot. He ran the 40 in 4.62 seconds on Thursday.

Tracking pre-draft visits

Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and Louisiana State cornerback Morris Claiborne will be among the 30 prospects whom the Browns will host for visits, league sources confirmed for the Beacon Journal. Both prospects are candidates to be taken by the Browns fourth overall.

Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden and Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins also will visit the Browns, the Plain Dealer reported. They could be potential targets for the Browns with the 22nd or 37th overall picks.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at https://ohio.com/browns.