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AFC North Notes: Browns got their RB

Posted Apr 29, 2012

ITEM: Doing what was necessary to get Richardson
The Cleveland Browns gave up three picks to move up one spot in the first round to pick Alabama running back Trent Richardson, with the specific cost being their fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round picks (Nos. 118, 139, 211). Was it too high a price to pay?

Critics will contend the Vikings never would have chosen Richardson because they already have Adrian Peterson, but Browns President Mike Holmgren said that if he hadn’t pulled the trigger on the trade, then another team would have leapfrogged the Browns and taken the player they wanted most.

“You don’t want to be up there, really,” Holmgren said. “But we were up there so it was very, very important who we chose there. That’s why we targeted Trent. We didn’t want to lose him.”

Holmgren was not happy at being out-bid by the Washington Redskins for the second overall pick in this draft, and he said he told General Manager Tom Heckert and Coach Pat Shurmur that Richardson was too good to risk.

“My conversations with Pat and Tom were, ‘If you even think somebody is going to jump us, then what are we going to do to prevent that from happening?’ We had that conversation many, many times – how far were we willing to go to do this? Tom did a masterful job of setting that thing up,” Holmgren said. “I thought it was an excellent trade because we got the player who, Lord willing, stay healthy and all those things, is going to be a really fine player for us for a long time.”

ITEM: Team’s No. 3 pick must develop consistency
Cincinnati Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said he believes the team was able to select Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still with the 53rd overall pick because scouts noticed inconsistent play.

“People were questioning the consistency of his play,” Lewis said. “You have to play hard every snap and we’ve got to get that consistency out of him.”

Sharing that opinion is Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes, who said he thinks that as a rookie, Still will get about 15 to 20 snaps a game in the defensive line rotation, and playing less should enable Still to go harder on every play he is on the field.

“That’s a lot of plays; especially at the college level and being in the conference I played in,” Still said. “I actually think playing (fewer) snaps will help my burst out. Help me make more of an impact.”

ITEM: Ravens believe they accomplished their goals
The Baltimore Ravens’ first three picks in the 2012 were spent on outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele and running back Bernard Pierce. It’s believed Upshaw and Osemele will compete for starting jobs, and Pierce is regarded as the frontrunner to back up Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice.

"If you look back over the three days and what we've been able to do with our football team, you all knew the areas that we wanted to address," said General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. "They all come with different skills. I think we've been able to do it with the young men that we've drafted thus far. It's been a successful three days from that standpoint, but we really won't know until we get them on the field."

Coach John Harbaugh believes the draft picks will fit in immediately, in terms of their football temperament.

“We think they're a great fit for our team, they fit our personality,” Harbaugh said. “They're tough, physical, hard-nosed, rough, tough kind of guys.”

The Ravens' first three picks are replacements for what was lost in the offseason – OLB Jarrett Johnson and LG Ben Grubbs to free agency, and RB Ricky Williams to retirement.

“You always try to draft the best player out there and try to make your team as strong as you can,” Harbaugh said. “There's also the element of need. All three of these guys (Upshaw, Osemele and Pierce) are probably at positions where they can help us right away. We have some opportunity in there for these guys to play.”

ITEM: AFC North team-by-team draft picks listed
BALTIMORE RAVENS
2a. Courtney Upshaw       OLB 6'2"     272     Alabama
2b. Kelechi Osemele         T     6'5"     333     Iowa St.
3. Bernard Pierce             RB     6'0"     218     Temple
4a. Gino Gradkowski         G     6'3"     300     Delaware
4b. Christian Thompson     FS     6'0"     211     South Carolina St.
5. Asa Jackson                 CB     5'10" 191     Cal Poly
6. Tommy Streeter           WR     6'5"     219     Miami
7. Deangelo Tyson            DE     6'2"     315     Georgia

CINCINNATI BENGALS
1a. Dre Kirkpatrick          CB     6'1"     186     Alabama
1b. Kevin Zeitler              G     6'4"     314     Wisconsin
2. Devon Still                 DT     6'5"     303     Penn St.
3a. Mohamed Sanu         WR     6'2"     211     Rutgers
3b. Brandon Thompson    DT     6'2"     314     Clemson
4. Orson Charles             TE     6'2"     251     Georgia
5a. Shaun Prater             CB     5'10" 190     Iowa
5b. Marvin Jones            WR     6'1"     199     California
5c. George Iloka             FS     6'4"     225     Boise St.
6. Dan Herron                RB     5'10" 213     Ohio St.

CLEVELAND BROWNS
1a. Trent Richardson          RB     5'9"     228     Alabama
1b. Brandon Weeden          QB     6'4"     221     Oklahoma St.
2. Mitchell Schwartz            T     6'5"     318     California
3. John Hughes                  DT     6'2"     309     Cincinnati
4a. Travis Benjamin            WR     5'10" 172     Miami
4b. James-Michael Johnson ILB     6'1"     241     Nevada
5. Ryan Miller                      G     6'7"     321     Colorado
6a. Emmanuel Acho           OLB 6'1"     238     Texas
6b. Billy Winn                     DT     6'4"     294     Boise St.
7a. Trevin Wade                  CB     5'10" 192     Arizona
7b. Brad Smelley                TE     6'2"     237     Alabama

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