Overview: Opportunity knocks — and pressure mounts — for the Browns' front office as the 2012 draft approaches. GM Tom Heckert and president Mike Holmgren want to build via the draft, and with two first-round picks, five picks in the top 100 and 13 selections overall, the Browns have no shortage of chances to find the playmakers this club so desperately needs on offense. After failing in an attempt to trade up for the No. 2 overall pick and not adding any skiil-position talent in free agency, the importance of the 2012 draft is magnified for Cleveland.
Need No. 1: Quarterback
The Browns could not pry the No. 2 pick from St. Louis, eliminating their shot at adding Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. It's logical to believe the Browns will add a quarterback in this draft, but whom they add remains to be seen. A quarterback added with selection Nos. 4, 22 or 37 could be an immediate threat to start, while a later-round passer might be hard-pressed to threaten Colt McCoy or Seneca Wallace this season.
Need No. 2: Wide receiver
The Browns traded out of the No. 6 overall pick a season ago. While they received a bundle of draft picks, including the No. 22 selection in this draft, they passed on an opportunity to add WR Julio Jones, who showed major promise for Atlanta a season ago. The Browns do not have a go-to receiver on the roster, and it would be an upset if they did not seek help at the position in this draft.
Need No. 3: Running back
The Browns' 2012 featured back could be added in this draft. Peyton Hillis, the Browns' leading rusher the past two seasons, signed with Kansas City, leaving Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya as the top options at running back. Durability is a major concern with Hardesty, and Jackson missed all of last season with a turf toe injury. Ogbonnaya proved he merited a roster spot last season but was behind Hillis and Hardesty in the pecking order when both backs were healthy.