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Wheelin', dealin' Browns move back three times in first round, add picks

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns made three early trades, overhauled their wide receiving corps and found help for both lines on the first day of the NFL draft.

They even picked one of their former ball boys.

Eric Mangini's first draft as the Browns' coach had a little of everything.

Just nothing involving Braylon Edwards.

Bucky Brooks on Alex Mack

The former Golden Bear has outstanding overall skills and should man the middle of the Browns' line for years. Although the move doesn't have the sizzle of other potential choices, it fortifies the interior of the team's offense and should improve its dismal running game.

Mangini made three first-round deals, the first one sending the No. 5 overall pick to the New York Jets -- his former team -- but concluded Saturday with Edwards, his most talented player, still on his roster. Rumored deals with the New York Giants never materialized, but the Browns did draft two wide receivers: Ohio State's Brian Robiskie and Georgia's Mohamed Massaquoi, both in the second round.

Browns general manager George Kokinis was asked if he expected Edwards to be with the team after Sunday.

"I don't anticipate anything different," said Kokinis, who dismissed reports about a deal for Edwards as heated rumors in advance of the draft. "It's never been anything we were actively going out. We expect him, with his skill level, to contribute like we know he can."

Mangini said he has had productive meetings with Edwards, who caught 25 fewer passes and scored 13 fewer touchdowns in 2008 than he did in his 2007 Pro Bowl season.

"Nothing has changed with Braylon," Manginisaid. "There are so many rumors about so many players and they can gain traction."

Mangini and Kokinis began their first draft as Cleveland's management team by calling the coach's former bosses in New York.

The Browns shipped the fifth pick to the Jets, who used it to take USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. In return, Cleveland received the No. 17 pick, a second-round selection (No. 52) and three players: defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Abram Elam and quarterback Brett Ratliff.

It's ironic that Mangini would assist the Jets in acquiring their potential franchise quarterback. Mangini was fired following his third season in New York when the Brett Favre experiment failed down the stretch and the Jets missed the playoffs after an 8-3 start.

Mangini said he had no reservations about dealing with the Jets.

"It worked for them, and it worked for us," Mangini said. "I don't think you can ever look at it as your former team. It was a real plus decision for both teams."

The Browns then dropped two spots in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 19), which also sent Cleveland a sixth-round pick (No. 191). Mangini and Kokinis followed by swapping the No. 19 pick for Philadelphia's at 21 and gained another sixth-rounder (No. 195).

On the clock for the fourth time, the Browns finally made a pick, taking California center Alex Mack, who also can play guard. Mack could replace starter Hank Fraley, a nine-year veteran who struggled last season in Cleveland's 31st-ranked offense.

At No. 36, the Browns picked Robiskie, whose father, Terry, served as Cleveland's interim head coach for five games in 2004. Like Mangini, Robiskie was once a ball boy with the Browns.

"I think there is a real upside to that," Mangini quipped. "They (ball boys) usually end up being very successful."

Robiskie was overwhelmed to be going to the Browns.

"Unbelievable," said the younger Robiskie, who spent three summers in high school shagging balls and folding towels for the team. "Just the connection I have with that team, to come back and be a part of that team, that franchise ... I feel so blessed. I'm excited about it."

Terry Robiskie, now the Atlanta Falcons' wide receivers coach, was thrilled for his son.

"From this day forward, I'm just a father. I've got to let him go now," Terry Robiskie said. "He's a terrific football player. I don't want to get too high on him. I think he's got the capability of making plays and doing the things Braylon can do. He's been around him. He can compete like that."

Robiskie and Massaquoi -- taken with the pick that Cleveland received for Kellen Winslow -- gives the Browns depth at wide receiver, which could come in handy with Donte Stallworth facing DUI-manslaughter charges in Miami.

The Browns selected Hawaii defensive end David Veikune with their third pick in the second round.

With just five picks and needs almost everywhere, the Browns were expected to be busy -- and no team was more active in the first round.

The early wheeling and dealing seemed to point toward a high-profile selection, but Mack was somewhat of a surprise since it appeared the Browns were moving around to land a player such as USC linebacker Rey Maualuga, Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells or Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

None of the new players are household names, but the Browns, who enter Sunday with four more selections, felt good about their new talent.

"We think we acquired some good Cleveland Browns," Kokinis said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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