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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Browns' draft intentions remain unclear



For all we know, the Bucs have already settled on the player they'd most like to draft with their No. 5 overall choice in next week's NFL Draft. But, in a sense, the choice won't be their's to make.

There continues to be a lack of concrete evidence about the intentions of the Browns, who have the No. 4 choice. Will they select Alabama running back Trent Richardson? Could they opt for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne? Do they want Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon?

No one seems to know. Sports Illustrated's Peter King said he spent the past couple of days trying to get a sense of what Cleveland will do. And he came away without anything resembling a consensus. He writes the following today on

"I heard different things over the weekend from people I trust. GM Tom Heckert loves Blackmon and that would be his pick; president Mike Holmgren is still trying to decide with finality if (Ryan) Tannehill is the franchise quarterback worth taking here. The safest pick? Richardson, at a need position, even though receiver is a bigger need."

This reflects the same sense we've gotten from others. Although there have been some doubts expressed about whether the Vikings will take USC tackle Matt Kalil at No. 3, that's still considered a likely scenario. The Browns are a much tougher case to crack.

As we get closer to April 26, it's entirely possible the draft will get underway without us having a clear idea of what Cleveland will do. And that leaves the Bucs in a situation where they'll be required to be prepared for any possible scenario.

Because right now, as it relates to the Browns, everything's in play.

[Last modified: Monday, April 16, 2012 12:48pm]


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