2012 NFL Mock Draft: Justin Blackmon Lands With The Browns

With the fourth pick in SB Nation's 2012 NFL mock draft, the Cleveland Browns select Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon.

Our first semi-surprise in the SB Nation mock draft. The Colts took QB Andrew Luck, the Redskins picked QB Robert Griffin III and the Vikings took OT Matt Kalil -- all those were expected. The Browns taking Blackmon is a bit of a surprise, at least for me. RB Trent Richardson is also an option, as is QB Ryan Tannehill, and you could argue that they would make a bigger impact.

Let's see what SB Nation's Browns blog, Dawgs By Nature, had to say about the pick:

Losing out on Robert Griffin III (in the attempted trade with St. Louis) couldn't have been easy to stomach for team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert. That doesn't mean the draft is a loss for the Browns, though. They have two first-round picks at No. 4 and No. 22 overall, and if the chips fall Cleveland's way, they'll still be able to improve upon an offense that was downright unbearable last season.

I'm not making excuses for quarterback Colt McCoy, but the only way he is going to have a chance at getting better this coming season is if he has better talent around him. That's where Justin Blackmon comes in. The Browns are thin enough at receiver where Blackmon would start immediately, probably alongside last year's second-round pick, Greg Little. In the long-term, hopefully fans can look back at last year's trade with Atlanta that allowed the Falcons to select Julio Jones and say, "Cleveland was better off because they still got a defensive player in 2011 and got a solid receiver in 2012."

The other positions to consider here are quarterback and running back. The Browns' front office wanted to trade the farm for Griffin, not another quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) at such a high pick. Running back Trent Richardson is an option too after the departure of Peyton Hillis, but Cleveland needs receivers more than they need a running back.

For analysis of the pick, visit Mocking The Draft. SB Nation's Bucs blog, Bucs Nation, is now on the clock with the fifth pick.

Justin Blackmon 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)

For more on the Browns, visit Dawgs By Nature and SB Nation Cleveland. And click here to follow SB Nation's NFL bloggers mock draft.

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