Aside from Tannehill, Browns also have eye for Trent Richardson
With Browns general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur watching Alabama RB Trent Richardson at his pro day Thursday, Richardson might have a decent chance of landing in Cleveland next season.
Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill has steadily shot up some observer's mock drafts, and now it's gotten to a point where, after Indianapolis picks Andrew Luck No. 1 and Washington takes Robert Griffin III at No. 2 (we assume all this, of course), there's been speculation that the Browns might consider taking Tannehill with the No. 4 selection.
Which has to make Colt McCoy feel special, especially when coach Pat Shurmur makes a lukewarm grand proclamation that the team is "moving forward" with the third-year quarterback (I guess that's better than "leaving him behind," though only slightly).
"At this point, he's our quarterback," Shurmur said a couple days ago. Obviously, a statement like that doesn't preclude the Browns from taking Tannehill at No. 4 and then having him battle McCoy for the starting role.
But that's not a foregone conclusion at this point, especially since ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi has reported that the Browns also are considering Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
While Tannehill and Richardson took part in their respective pro days on Thursday, general manager Tom Heckert and Shurmur attended Richardson's workout instead of splitting up and allowing one of them to check out Tannehill.
Of course, it's usually foolish to read much into whether a coach attends a particular player's pro day, but the show of power displayed by Richardson in the video below is pretty darn impressive. To do it live in front of Shurmur and Heckert obviously doesn't hurt.
"I'm not going to talk about my five guys (who the Browns are targeting)," Shurmur told Grossi. "[Richardson] is an outstanding player … he's been very productive on a team that's won a lot of games."
Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne are two of the other players apparently in the running for the Browns, and it stands to reason that adding a high-impact offensive player (and it seems pretty clear that Richardson is exactly that) would help make McCoy a better quarterback. Or, at least, give him better weapons to show whether he's the Browns future.
As CBSSports.com's Will Brinson noted recently, "Here's the thing about McCoy. In his (short) career, he's already been forced into early rookie action, he's had two different coaching staffs, one lockout-shortened season and almost zero help on offense. The Browns traded down out of their sixth-overall pick last year because the Falcons were aggressively pursuing Julio Jones, a play-making wideout."
Even Shurmur agrees with that assessment.
"The quarterback has to have confidence that he can turn around and hand the ball off and get yards, or drop back and know (the back's) going to protect properly, or drop back and throw it to him," he said. "That's an important confidence to have."
With the funk surrounding Peyton Hillis last season, McCoy couldn't have had that self-assurance. Richardson could go a long way to helping.
"I think Trent Richardson is the best offensive player on the board for the Browns at No. 4," CBSSports.com draft analyst Dane Brugler told Grossi. "Richardson is a special kid, a combination of Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew. He's 5-9, 228, and so thick. Every ounce of muscle he can possibly have, he has it. No one works harder than he does. If he stays healthy, he'll be a special back for the next 10 years."
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