NFL Draft 2012: Cleveland Not Likely to Trade Both First-Round Picks to St.Louis

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IMarch 4, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24: The helmet of  Christian Yount #57 of the Cleveland Browns sits on the turf before the start of the Browns and Baltimore Ravens game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL Draft rumors continue to heat up around the National Football League as the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins continue to bid for Robert Griffin III and the second overall pick.

The St. Louis Rams currently hold the second selection and would like to have a deal in place before the free agent quarterbacks hit the open market on March 13.

Cleveland is rumored to have made an offer to the Rams last week, but did not include the 22nd overall selection in their potential deal. The Browns acquired the 22nd selection in last year's draft when they traded down with the Atlanta Falcons.

NFL experts seem to think the fact that Cleveland did not include their second selection in the first round (the Browns currently own the fourth and 22nd overall) shows that the team is not quite willing to "mortgage the house" on one potential draft pick.

However, others believe that it may be a very intelligent move by the franchise that is simply going unnoticed.

If the Browns do make a trade with St.Louis, the team would likely have to surrender a first, second and third round pick in 2012 in addition to more picks in the 2013 draft. 

However, if the Browns would manage to hold on to the 22nd overall pick, the team could actually trade down late in the first round, and acquire the picks they lost at the beginning of the draft. The Browns would likely have to drop a few more spots into the late part of the first-round, but could possibly recover a second or third round pick depending on how bad another team wanted a specific prospect.

The other option would be that Cleveland could use that 22nd pick to select another quality player and then be forced to wait until late in the second day to make an another selection.

Trading down out of the 22nd spot seems to be the most beneficial to Cleveland in their long term plans. The Browns currently have plenty of holes to fill on both sides of the ball and more picks at any point in the draft will help their roster development.

Now, it is worthy to note that Cleveland may eventually trade that pick in a deal that would acquire the second selection from the Rams, but a recent report states that the Browns are not willing to trade that selection at this point in time.

Some NFL teams have made very good draft decisions by trading their picks in the first round and continuing to make sure the future of their organizations are safe.

The New England Patriots are one of a few teams that always seem to make a deal during the draft and acquire more picks to draft talent or move later on.

Cleveland has a chance to make a significant impact on the future of their franchise and could actually set this team up for success in the present if they plan accordingly.

Fans should play close attention because it seems that the NFL draft trades could be happening sooner rather than later, and Cleveland will be right in the middle.