Browns GM: ‘I Know Who the No. 4 is Going to Be’

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BEREA, Ohio — Browns General Manager Tom Heckert held a press conference Thursday morning to talk about the 2012 NFL draft. The Browns have 13 picks, the most of any team in this year’s draft. The team’s first pick will be the #4 pick and Heckert plans on using it.

“We would like to stay there,” he said. “We hope we stay there. I know who the number four is going to be if we stay there.”

Heckert was asked if he has any hesitation taking a running back with the fourth pick.

“No hesitation taking a running back at number four.”

Quarterback Colt McCoy took criticism last season from Browns fans and media, but the team has always stood by him. Heckert said the Browns like Colt, but if there is a player at any position that is better than the one the team has, they will take a chance. When asked if the Browns will use one of their top three picks on a quarterback, Heckert showed some hesitation.

“That’s a big question right now,” he said.

Heckert said if the team does trade down from the #4 pick, it won’t be far. There is a drop off in talent that the team is not willing to trade past.

Heckert talked about one of the Browns top defensive performers, Joe Haden. He said he really likes the defensive back.

“If he can catch the ball this year,” he said with a laugh. “You have to have three legit corners to survive in this league.”

Heckert said it’s important to take the best player, not necessarily the position you need.

“You can’t stray from what you think of a player because you have a need. If it came down to it, it has to be a player over a need.”

The Browns also want players with minimal off-the-field problems. Heckert thinks running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Justin Blackmon are solid picks.

“Richardson and Blackmon are class act guys,” Heckert said.

The Browns have three picks in the top 37 overall. The team’s 13 picks are the most the team has had since 1994. The last time the Browns had two first round selections was five years ago when they took Pro Bowl offensive lineman Joe Thomas and quarterback Brady Quinn.

The first round is Thursday, April 26 at 8:00. The second and third rounds will be Friday, April 27 at 7:00 and rounds four through seven will continue on Saturday, April 28 at noon.