Browns have calmer second day of draft

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-27 22:49

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Day 2 of the NFL draft wasn't nearly as spectacular for the Cleveland Browns.

They got a right tackle with strong pro bloodlines to protect their first-round investments. They made a minor trade, added a run-stopping defensive lineman and passed on taking a wide receiver, a perceived need by everyone, it seems, but the Browns.

Oh, and quarterback Colt McCoy is still on the roster - for now.

One day after remaking their offense by trading up to select Alabama running back Trent Richardson at No. 3 and stunning most experts by picking Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden at No. 22, the Browns used their second-round pick on Mitchell Schwartz, a massive tackle from California.

Schwartz made 51 starts - 35 at left tackle and 16 at right - in four years for the Golden Bears. The Browns have five-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas on the left side, so Schwartz will slide to the right.

``I'm comfortable doing either,'' said Schwartz, whose brother, Geoff, is an offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings. ``But Cleveland obviously has probably the best left tackle in the game so I can understand my role.''

The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Schwartz will start immediately and the Browns are counting on him to open holes for Richardson and keep defenders off Weeden. Cleveland's new running back and quarterback were introduced to the local media on Friday.

A few hours later, the Browns traded the No. 67 pick to Denver, moving down 20 spots in the third round to take Cincinnati defensive tackle John Hughes, a 309-pound run-stuffer. Cleveland also acquired a fourth-round pick (No. 120) in the deal.

``He's a big, physical, tough guy,'' said Browns general manager Tom Heckert, who gambled that Hughes would still be available at 87. ``He's a really, really good run player.''

Wide receiver was thought to be a major weakness for the Browns. But Heckert said the position was never a priority and there wasn't one he liked enough to take.

``There's no frustration,'' he said. ``We could have taken a wide receiver, but we aren't going to take one to just take one.''

As for McCoy, Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur said the team has not talked with any teams about a trade for Cleveland's starter, who has apparently lost his job to Weeden.

Shurmur spoke to McCoy on Friday and expects him to be back Monday for the offseason conditioning program. Shurmur also shot down a report that the Browns had promised McCoy they would not select a quarterback in the first round of the draft.

``That's absolutely false,'' Shurmur said. ``We don't consult with our players about what we're doing in the draft.''

The Browns, though, have had internal discussions about trading McCoy, who went 6-15 as a starter.

Richardson and Weeden arrived in Cleveland as new teammates. The college stars had been together at the Browns' facility for their pre-draft visit, not knowing they would be reunited after the team made bold moves to select them and usher in a new era of football along Lake Erie.

After posing for photos with Shurmur, Richardson discussed his plans to become the next great running back in Cleveland's rich history.

Although Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown described him as ``ordinary'' before the draft, Richardson, who went to the same Florida high school as another Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith, said he aspires for greatness.

``I can be one of those guys who you can mention my name with Emmitt Smith, or Marshall Faulk or all of those great guys,'' Richardson said. ``Even the great Jim Brown, when it comes down to it. There is only one thing you can take to the grave with you, and that's your last name. How your name is remembered, that's on you.''

Richardson recalled his struggles on the way to starring at Alabama. He overcame two severe ankle injuries early in high school that jeopardized his career, and avoided other temptations. The stout, 5-foot-9 Richardson talked about how his young daughters, 5-year-old Taliyah and 3-year-old Elevera, have motivated him to be a better man and player.

``I had my first child when I was a sophomore in high school, so it was going to be either I hung around a wrong crowd, which I wasn't raised that way, and try to get fast money,'' Richardson said. ``Or, I could go make something out of myself and go be a grown man and handle my responsibilities. I stood up to the plate and my little girls are happy now.''

The 28-year-old Weeden called it ``an honor'' to be selected by the Browns, who will give him a chance to win the starting job right away.

Weeden was as poised answering questions as he appears to be in the pocket. It all comes naturally to the former baseball pitcher, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2002 but never made it out of the low minor leagues.

It was while playing for High Desert (A) in 2006, when Weeden realized baseball was not going to pay the bills.

``The worst experience of my life,'' he said. ``The wind blew out about 55 miles per hour every night and I gave up three broken-bat home runs. My ERA was like something astronomical, something like a 5.60. I said, `You know what? It's not going to happen. I am not going to make it.' So I came home.''

He told his wife, Melanie, he wanted to go back to college - and play football.

``She was like, `Are you crazy?' and I said, `No, absolutely not. Let's do it.' I knew that I didn't want to be a guy who spent 10 years in the minor leagues. I wanted to give it a shot and if it didn't work out, I knew this is what I wanted to do.''

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