|Is 28-year-old QB Brandon Weeden the answer in Cleveland? (Getty Images)|
The Browns went into the first round of Thursday's 2012 NFL Draft with a plan: use their two picks to bolster the offense: get running back Trent Richardson early, and later, according to an ESPN report, grab wide receiver Kendall Wright if he was still on the board.
Cleveland was so anxious to land Richardson that they traded up to No. 3 from No. 4 to make sure it happened. They then had to wait for 19 other teams to pick before they would go on the clock again. Two selections before the Browns could get the wideout they so desperately need, the Tennessee Titans took Wright, considered one of the most explosive pass-catchers available.
Instead, Cleveland took 28-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden. We won't know for a couple years if that decision was a reach, but the consensus at the time was that the Browns had more pressing needs late in the first round. Either way: with Weeden in the fold Colt McCoy future in Cleveland is in doubt.
So what happens to the Browns' 2010 third-round pick who regressed during the 2011 season (thanks, in part, to a somehow-worse Cleveland offense and a late-season concussion McCoy suffered against the Steelers)? Heckert was asked Thursday night if the Browns will try to trade McCoy now that Weeden's in the mix.
"To be honest we haven't thought about that, we really haven't," he said. "I am not trying to elude it. That will be something that we will talk about tonight and tomorrow."
It's certainly reasonable to think that McCoy's done in Cleveland, especially since Weeden's 28. Now the only question appears to be when that will happen. And according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Browns are reportedly in discussions with the Packers and Eagles to deal McCoy.
Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange adds that the Browns acknowledged that none of the interested parties had "entered into substantive discussions" regarding McCoy.
"We want these guys to play, but how soon depends and (head coach) Pat (Shurmur) is going to make that decision," Heckert said. "If it takes them longer than we think, we aren't going to throw a guy out there just to throw him out there. Eventually, (Weeden) is going to be a starter for us we hope, that's why we drafted him."
That's all well and good. But if the Browns really wanted a wideout with pick No. 22, why didn't they trade up for one? To answer our own question: clearly, they didn't think Wright was worth the cost. Either way, Weeden's in Cleveland a full 15 picks before many people thought he'd go there (the Browns also hold the 37th selection).
"We liked Kendall, we really did," general manager Tom Heckert said Thursday night. "Like I said, it is more so it was a quarterback. We liked Kendall and there were a couple of guys that we liked, but a quarterback is a quarterback, which I think that outweighs everything, at least in our opinion."
In the days leading up to the draft, there had been speculation that the Browns would borrow a page from the Bengals' 2011 draft playbook: take a game-breaking skill position player early in Round 1 and circle back for the quarterback early in Round 2 (last year, Cincy took WR A.J. Green and QB Andy Dalton). Unfortunately, the Titans intervened by grabbing Wright and the Browns decided to take Weeden before another team did.
"That is obviously something that we talked about," Heckert said on taking Weeden 22nd instead of waiting until the second round. "We had a lot of conversations about this. When you are talking about a quarterback, we just didn't think that it was worth taking a risk. Maybe something else you say, 'Well alright if we get him it's no big deal,' but with a quarterback we just wanted to make sure we got him. There were some teams that we know were interested behind us, so we just decided to go ahead and pick him."
Follow every pick of the 2012 NFL Draft with the CBSSports.com Draft Tracker.
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