ESPN’s resident draftnik and hair product connoisseur Mel Kiper released the latest edition (2.0!) of his 2012 mock draft on Wednesday afternoon, and has the Cleveland Browns leaving with a pair of Baylor Bears after the first round.
With the fourth overall selection:
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Given the makeup of the roster, and the fact that they have two first-round picks and can really enhance the level of young talent, I think the Browns are far more likely to look at a young QB prospect than get into the bidding war for a veteran like Manning, or even Matt Flynn. One question I have is whether Cleveland stays at this spot and hopes Griffin is still around, or gets aggressive and moves up to No. 2 and guarantees they get their guy. Given his experience, leadership qualities and overall skill set, I don’t see it as much of a leap for Griffin to be a Week 1 starter in 2012.
And with the 22nd-overall pick, Griffin’s speedy teammate at Baylor.
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Cleveland needs help at wide receiver but may not be able to get it in free agency, and Wright is a player who can provide an element the Browns don’t have right now. The pick makes sense on both need and value. Wright quietly had a season that almost matched Blackmon’s in the Big 12. Greg Little was inconsistent but certainly showed a lot of promise as a rookie, and Wright is a good complement. He’s smaller at about 5-10, 190 pounds, but adds a speed threat this offense really needs. He’ll stretch the field with speed. The Browns need weapons, and Wright fits the profile.
Kiper does state that he’s not allowed to reflect or predict trades. Thus, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon goes second-overall to the St. Louis Rams. The Browns have been rumored to be in the mix for a potential trade-up scenario, but have also been linked to running back Trent Richardson with the forth pick.
Kiper’s colleague Todd McShay also has the Browns selecting Griffin fourth overall, pairing him with Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd.