Fighting a rearguard cleanup maneuver after losing out on the St. Louis Rams' second pick, Cleveland Browns football czar Mike Holmgren continued his PR damage control on Tuesday. This time Holmgren was explaining it to Seattle area radio. What he said about the Browns' quarterback situation could pose another problem for the Rams in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Holmgren doubled down on his commitment to Colt McCoy, for now anyway.
"I like Colt McCoy as a player," Holmgren said. "I think he's a fine player and has a chance to be a fine player in this league. I thought last year, one, he got beat up pretty good. We didn't protect him quite well. I thought our running game after Peyton Hillis got hurt wasn't helping him enough in my opinion. Then we had the lockout so you had a new coach, new system, and new quarterback. You put all that together, and I think it was a little bit of a short deck."
The Browns are sounding more and more like they plan to pursue offensive talent to surround McCoy with in 2012. His comment about Hillis could signal that the team will give Alabama running back Trent Richardson a long look with the fourth pick. Richardson is, after the two quarterbacks, the top offensive skill player in the draft.
Cleveland could also go after Justin Blackmon with that pick. Blackmon would make sense in Pat Shurmur's West Coast offense, where they could make use of his after-the-catch ability.
Assuming the Vikings draft Kalil and the Browns go with Richardson, Tampa Bay would likely take Morris Claiborne. That would leave Blackmon for the Rams, who also desperately need him.
If the Browns take Blackmon, Tampa would either take Richardson (most likely) or Claiborne, leaving the other player for the Rams.
All of this choose your own adventure draft picking takes out the possibility of a trade into the top five picks, a very distinct possibility, but one that is slightly more difficult to account for in making predictions than the Rams' situation with the second pick.