Adrian Peterson: Browns probably more upset than me about '07 draft

By Ryan Wilson |

Adrian Peterson has jokes. (USATSI)
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was the seventh-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, taken four spots after the Browns selected their left tackle of the future, Joe Thomas, one of the few bright spots on a Cleveland team that has averaged 4.6 wins a year from 2008-2012.

On Wednesday, Peterson, speaking with the media ahead of Sunday's Browns-Vikings game, was asked about the Browns passing him up to take Thomas.

Peterson rips off one-liners like he rips off 80-yard touchdown runs.

Over the summer, he was asked about former USC quarterback Matt Leinart beating him out for the 2004 Heisman Trophy when Peterson was at Oklahoma.

"I look at that [Heisman] trophy now and knowing that Matt Leinart has it, with how his career went, I would rather him have it," Peterson told the Los Angeles Times in July. "At least he has something positive to look back on and say, 'I won the Heisman.'"

(In related news: Leinart was cut by the Bills in late August, five days after signing with the team.)

Back in Sept. 2009, a former member of the Browns' personnel department told the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot that the organization made a mistake in passing on Peterson.

"In my mind, it was a no-brainer,'' the personnel man said at the time. "Adrian Peterson was the best running back in high school football, the best running back in college football and now he's the best running back in the NFL. He was Rookie of the Year and led the NFL in rushing last season. We had a chance to draft the best player in the NFL outside of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and we blew it.''

Eh, maybe. The Browns drafted Trent Richardson last season, and while he's not as dynamic as Peterson, he's no slouch, either. Despite a solid rookie season (950 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns), Richardson didn't magically make the Browns a playoff team.

Thomas, meanwhile, is one of the best left tackles in the game. The takeaway: One player, no matter how good, can't fix an organization full of problems.

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