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Browns awarded 4 more picks in NFL draft

By Tom Withers

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 26 2012 5:54 p.m. MDT

CLEVELAND — The Browns have holes all over the field. On Monday, they got four more draft picks to help plug them.

The NFL awarded Cleveland four compensatory picks in this year's draft, giving the Browns a total of 13, a baker's dozen of choices to revamp a talent-starved roster with offensive and defensive needs.

The club gained two sixth-round picks (Nos. 204 and 205 overall) and a pair in the seventh round (Nos. 245 and 247). The Browns already have the No. 4 overall pick and three of the top 37 selections, which they hope to improve a team that went 4-12 last season and has made the playoffs just once in the past 13 years.

The Browns, Green Bay Packers and New York Jets were each given four picks, and 32 picks were awarded to 15 teams.

Before this year, the Browns had only received two compensatory picks since the league first started awarding choices in 1994.

Under league rules, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory picks. Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.

In 2011, the Browns lost safety Abe Elam, wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, fullback Lawrence Vickers, guard Floyd Womack, cornerback Eric Wright and linebackers Matt Roth and Jason Trusnik. They signed running back Brandon Jackson, cornerback Dimitri Patterson and safety Usama Young.

The Browns haven't had 13 picks since their 1999 expansion season.

Thanks to a trade last season with Atlanta, the Browns also own the Falcons' first-round pick (No. 22), and an extra fourth-round pick (No. 118). By trading quarterback Brady Quinn to Denver, the Browns acquired the Broncos' fifth-round choice (No. 160).

Cleveland tried to move up in the draft to get Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, but was outbid by the Washington Redskins, who gave St. Louis three first-round picks to be able to select the dynamic Heisman Trophy winner. The Browns need offensive playmakers, and will likely target Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon or Alabama running back Trent Richardson with its top pick to help quarterback Colt McCoy and a unit that scored only 218 points last season.

The first round of the draft will be held on April 26. The second and third rounds are scheduled for April 27, with the fourth through seventh rounds on April 28.

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