Browns trade up to No. 3

Since the NFL Combine in February, Vikings officials had publicly said they would entertain offers from teams looking to move up to the No. 3 spot in the draft, because Minnesota was interested in acquiring more picks to help rebuilding.

Roughly an hour before the 2012 NFL draft began, the Vikings got the deal they wanted.

The Cleveland Browns, according to multiple reports, have moved up one spot in the draft, giving Minnesota their first-, fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round picks to do so. With that pick, the Browns -- who in March had tried to move up to No. 2 to position themselves to draft Robert Griffin III – are expected to ease the pressure on quarterback Colt McCoy by taking Alabama running back Trent Richardson.

Running backs rarely hear their names called early in the draft; last year only Mark Ingram (28th overall to the Saints) was taken in the first round. But Richardson, who this past fall rushed for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns as the Crimson Tide’s workhorse back, was frequently predicted to be the exception this year.

Many analysts said he would be the first back taken in the top 10 since Darren McFadden went fourth overall in 2008. But few – if any – expected him to go third overall.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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