Now that the 2012 NFL Draft is over, we're profiling each team's draft. Who were the steals? Who were the reaches? We continue with the Cleveland Browns, holders of five of the first 100 picks of the draft this year.
The immediate talking points for the Cleveland Browns' 2012 NFL Draft class are first-round picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden. It's just because they'll be relied upon to turn around Cleveland's woeful offense. But second-round pick Mitchell Schwartz is nearly assured of a starting spot at right tackle. He was a big-body left tackle at Cal, so he has the footwork for the right side once he adjusts.
They doubled up on defensive tackles with John Hughes and Billy Winn and linebackers with James-Michael Johnson and Emmanuel Acho. It was a good move by the Browns. If one of the players at each position doesn't work out, the team will hope the other does. The Browns also added needed speed at wide receiver with Travis Benjamin in the fourth round.
Questionable selection: DT John Hughes, Round 3, Pick 87
This was one of the bigger head scratchers of an oddball third round. At Cincinnati, Hughes' job was to occupy the middle while Derek Wolfe shot gaps. It made Wolfe a stat-stuffing star and Hughes and afterthought. So picking him in the third round seemed like a big reach. Although he'll likely fill the same role with the Browns, the team has two certain starters at tackle. The pick is questionable because a team like the Browns needs to find impact in the first three rounds, not a backup rotational player.
Late-round steal: TE/FB Brad Smelley, Round 7, Pick 247
One of the last picks in the draft was one of the smarter ones. Current Browns fullback Owen Marecic has had concussion issues throughout his career. He also had struggles last season blocking and receiving. That's not good for a fullback. If Marecic struggles or gets injured, Smelley should be able to step in and perhaps play even better.