Heckert: "We'd like to Stay (at 4)"

Browns' GM Tom Heckert addresses media and a variety of draft topics, as the first round is now just one week away.

BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert met with the media a week before the 2012 NFL Draft. Heckert said the Browns would like to stay at No. 4 and feels really good about who the Browns will select.

"We'd like to stay there (at 4)," Heckert said. "I do think we could trade out, but right now we might stay there. I know who four will be if we stay there. We know we'll get one of two guys and are extremely happy to get a play at four."

Heckert said the trade he made with the Atlanta Falcons on draft day last year was the right thing to do, but he didn't think he would do it again this year.

"I haven't thought a lot about it, but think it was the right thing to do for our football team," Heckert said. "The guys we drafted did pretty well, but this year we hope to add more players.

"I don't think I'd do that trade this year, because I think we're farther along."

Heckert said he knows who he will take at No. 4, depending on if the Vikings draft USC right tackle Matt Kalil.

"I have no idea if Minnesota likes (Kalil)."

Heckert said there is a lot of misinformation out there and he said he likes some of the misconceptions out there now.

"Everything you've heard is complete nonsense," he said. "It's that time of year and all the stuff you hear and read, isn't all true."

Heckert said the entire front office with the Browns is of one accord.

"Everyone is on the same page here."

Heckert was asked if he had any hesitation about taking a running back, presumably Alabama running back Trent Richardson at No. 4.

"No."

He did say if the Browns trade down, it would not be far.

"There are a certain amount of players that we want and we won't go past that."

Heckert said the Browns have players ranked and there are no ties.

Heckert was asked about Richardson and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

"Both are really good and they make a lot of plays," he said. "If you look at the playmakers, they both score touchdowns."

Heckert was asked if the story about Richardson taking the girl with cancer to the prom impressed him.

"Those two guys are class guys," he said. "Blackmon took a girl with leukemia out, as well."

Heckert said the Browns have players decidedly ranked.

"It's probably not going to be a tie," he said. "There's definitely not a tie there."

It is presumed the Browns would take Richardson, Blackmon, cornerback Morris Claiborne or Kalil, but Heckert said it's narrowed down to two players. He also said it's unlikely the Browns would move up one spot to three.

"There are two guys we're considering," he said. "It's highly unlikely we move to three, but I would never, say never."

Heckert said it is not for sure the Browns will draft offensive players with their first three picks.

"In a perfect world you'd like to take the best player at a need position, but to say were going to take three offensive players with our first three picks, if they're not there, we're not going to do it."

Heckert said there are no character issues with any of the players the Browns are considering, but said whether the Browns address the quarterback at the top of the draft is a big question.

"There are a lot of misconceptions out there," Heckert said. "I want to keep it that way."

Heckert did say if the Browns take a quarterback high, like Tannehill or Brandon Weeden, he would come in and compete to start.

"If you draft a kid early you probably will play him," he said. "You have to wait and see what you get in training camp."

Whatever happens, Heckert said the Browns have to hit on their top picks.

"It's a big setback (drafting a bust) because you're hoping for a good player for a long time," he said. "You're talking about supposedly a great player. You don't want a bust and you can't have that happen."

Heckert knows the Browns need to hit on players they select this draft. He said there's always pressure on him in the draft.

"There's always pressure on the draft," he said. "You have to be careful and you can't panic. I've made bad mistakes and have traded up strictly for a need, but we've learned from it.

"There's a lot of pressure from media, fans and people in the building and it's my job to do what's best.

"We obviously would like the guys we take in the first three rounds, we'd like to start, but it depends on what positions they are at. A lot of it is luck. Every year, you can't get three or four starters every year from the draft. You better draft good players or the philosophy of building through the draft doesn't work."

Here are other topics addressed:

Q: How deep is this year's draft class compared to last year's?

Heckert: "I haven't compared it, but it seems to be a little less numbers- wise. I think we have 18 guys with first round grades but when you start getting into the second round. Numbers -wise it is less."

Q: What would you do at No. 22 if the 18 players are gone?

Heckert: "We would try to get out if 18 if they are gone. It happened last year that we were getting low on guys and we went up and got Phil (Taylor). If that happens, we can go either way. We feel pretty confident that it won't come off like that."

Q: Will your first pick affect the pick at No. 22?

Heckert: "Depending on what we do at the top will affect what we do the rest of the draft. What you do with the first will affect you at 22. We have those situations and it depends on what we do at the top."

Q: Thoughts on the linebacker draft class?

Heckert: "In our opinion, it's not a great linebacker draft. It doesn't mean we're not going to get one."

Q: Would having drafting Montario Hardesty two years ago affect your thoughts for a running back?

Heckert: "This draft is not about the fourth pick. It's the entire draft. I wouldn't say it would affect who we would take but who you have does affect it."

Q: Has Ryan Tannehill moved way up the draft board like most experts have said?

Heckert:"One thing about a player moving up the draft board is simply not true. Where ever somebody had him (at the end of the season) is probably still where they have him."

Q: What affect does it have that a guy like Tannehill has only 19 games at quarterback in college?

Heckert: "When you're looking at quarterbacks you want to look at all of their throws and when they haven't played that much, there is less tape to watch."

Q: How much does Mike Holmgren get involved with the quarterbacks?

Heckert: "Mike watches the quarterbacks, but he lets me do my job. He watches the quarterbacks and we spend a lot of time talking about it but he knows what we're doing."

Q: Do you think you'll trade up or down?

Heckert: "We like everybody have a wish list. We do have ammunition which is nice. If there is somebody who we thinks won't be there, we have ammunition to go up and get them.

"We always like to stay where we're at. If we think we can get a similar type player and get something for it, I think it's smart. It's a crap shoot sometimes and the more chances you have, why wouldn't you do that. If there are good players there, we'll take him."

Q: Do you expect your first three draft picks to start this year?

Heckert: ""Yes, definitely. With the first, second or third round, you're hoping this guy is going to start for us at some point."

Q: Will you draft a right tackle that you expect to start this year?

Heckert: "If you can get a really good one. There are a lot of guys in the league that you've never heard of. We're looking at that position."

Q: How do you look at the No. 22 pick?

Heckert: "When you're sitting at 22 you have to stay close to your board. You can't stray from what you grade the player at a need position. In a perfect world, if you have guys close enough to can take the need."

Q: What are your thoughts of the receiving corps compared to last year?

Heckert: "Greg Little wasn't here (last year) and Mo (Massaquoi) has to come back healthy. The rest will have to come in the draft. That position has been up and down. if there is a good one out there, we'll go get one."

Q: Your thoughts on Mel Kiper Jr.'s assessment the Browns have the worst set of skill players in the NFL?

Heckert: "That's his opinion. I don't think so. Could we use help? Yes, but I don't agree with that."

Q. Thoughts on the defensive backs?

Heckert: "Defensive back-wise, it's not a great group. (Claiborne's) a great player and you have to have three legit corners in this league."

Q: Why did you work out Matt Kalil?

Heckert: "We want to try and do our homework on somebody we're considering and make sure."

Q: Your thoughts on Colt McCoy heading into the draft?

Heckert: "I don't think it's changed much. Colt looks great and we like Colt. Any position, but probably not left tackle, but if we have a player that we think is better, we'll take them. People talk about the trade, but we like Colt."

Q: Why didn't you go after Matt Flynn after trying to trade up for the second position in the draft to get a quarterback?

Heckert: "We didn't go after Matt Flynn. When you're talking about the two guys in this draft, (Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III), they're obviously, really really good Pro Bowl- type players."

Q: Is his age a factor with Brandon Weeden?

Heckert: "You have to factor it. Is it a big deal, no, but it's like anything else. You like your draft picks to play 10 years, but if he did he'd be 40 years old. It's something you have to use your head. If you think the guy is a starter or can start, (that's a factor)."

Q: Do you see (Weeden) as a starter?

Heckert: "I have my opinion on that."


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