PITTSBURGH (92.3 The Fan) – While other teams around the National Football League are focused on a potential playoff run, the focus in Cleveland is again shifting from another woeful football season to the NFL Draft.
Sunday’s 20-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field not only clinched a 4-12 season for the Cleveland Browns – but also locked them into their selection position for the 2014 NFL Draft which will take place in May.
With a seven game losing streak to conclude the season, the Browns will yet again be selecting in the top five of the draft – picking number four overall.
Cleveland will draft behind the Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.
This will mark the second time in three years the team will select in the top four.
In a draft day trade in 2012, the Browns traded up from four to three with the Minnesota Vikings to select Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
Richardson was dealt earlier in the 2013 season to the Indianapolis Colts for their first round pick in 2014. The order of that selection will not be set until the playoff fate of Indianapolis is realized.
Overall, Cleveland possesses five picks in the top 100, including two in the first round, one in the second and two more in the third.
The Browns have earned top five picks in the draft eight times since returning to the NFL in 1999.
The team’s top five selections since 1999 include quarterback Tim Couch (1999), defensive end Courtney Brown (2000), defensive tackle Gerard Warren (2001), wide receiver Braylon Edwards (2005), left tackle Joe Thomas (2007), and Richardson (2012).
The Browns traded the number five pick to the New York Jets in 2009 in a draft day trade. New York selected USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with that pick.