Could the Browns trade down for WR Floyd?

Could the Browns trade down for WR Floyd?

Published Mar. 31, 2012 2:41 p.m. ET

There’s a rarely discussed draft option for the Browns that makes a lot of sense. It’s really very appealing.

This option involves a trade down. Not far, mind you, a few spots.

Here’s the scenario: The Browns trade their No. 4 overall pick in the first round and move down four, five spots, acquire an extra second- or third-round pick and take Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd. Then they take a running back and offensive tackle and perhaps a quarterback before the third round is over.

Floyd is the second-best receiver coming out. He’s bigger than Justin Blackmon — 6-foot-3 as opposed to 6-1 — and reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He’s also from Notre Dame, which kind of/sort of gives him Irish ties, always a plus.

The problem: Floyd had drinking issues in college.

He was suspended indefinitely in March 2011 after being cited for driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.19, more than twice the Indiana limit of 0.08. It was his third alcohol-related run-in with the law since 2009. He was reinstated in August.

“Just immaturity,” he said at the combine. “You know, people all the time have mistakes like this. Unfortunately it happened to me on a big stage going across the nation. It’s about moving forward. It’s about making sure you don’t make the same mistake again.”

Well, with all respect, people don’t “all the time” have mistakes like this. In fact, many people have never been arrested for a DUI.

So to shrug it off is not simple.

A guy does not go from immature to mature overnight unless he’s willing to make a significant change in approach and lifestyle. What did Floyd do to stay clean his senior season?

“I went out less,” he said. “That was probably it. Just kind of changed the whole environment around me. Friends. Just guys that I wouldn’t have to be in that position of having to do things that would potentially put me in a troubled positions.

“I went to alcohol classes at school with a certain counselor with a whole bunch of kids from Notre Dame that were kind of going through some problems, too. It was a good experience and I liked it.”

There will be a lot of digging on Floyd by NFL teams who will want to be certain he is sincere and clean.

If he is, and if he can stay away from trouble, he’s one heck of a player. Floyd holds Notre Dame’s all-time marks in touchdowns (37), receptions (266), receiving yards (3,645) and 100-yard games (17). He caught 79 and 100 passes his last two years at Notre Dame.

He played in coach Brian Kelly’s pass-happy offense, but Floyd is big and fast, has good hands and plays hard.

In short, he’s a bigger, maybe faster version of Blackmon.

Browns general manager Tom Heckert is not afraid of guys with attitude. He took Greg Little after he’d been suspended for his senior (2010) season in North Carolina and took DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia, and Jackson is no wallflower.

If Floyd is OK mentally, he’s a player.

And the notion of the Browns having five picks in the first three rounds, with the first used on Floyd, is pretty appealing.