By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
The Browns started the draft season by talking to no quarterbacks. They are ending it by talking to virtually every quarterback.
The end result is the same: Nobody knows for sure what they’re going to do.
According to reports, they have worked out and/or will visit with: Fresno State’s Derek Carr, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, Ball State’s Keith Wenning, Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Miami’s Stephen Morris and North Dakota State’s Brock Jensen.
And now comes the marquee attraction – Texas A&M’s one-and-only Johnny Manziel.
A Browns’ contingent consisting of GM Ray Farmer, coach Mike Pettine, coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains is expected to depart Friday for College Station, TX, to do the dinner meeting and private workout routine with Manziel.
This is the climax of the pre-draft process for the Browns.
Owner Jimmy Haslam, a professed SEC fan and distant admirer of Manziel, has said he will not attend any player workouts. He will get his personal interaction with Manziel when Manziel visits Browns headquarters next week.
Most of the other quarterbacks-of-interest will also pay visits next week as the Browns wrap up their quarterback evaluations.
In mock draft 9.0, we are predicting that Manziel makes a favorable impression on the Browns.
1. Houston: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Some consider it an easy decision; others a gut-wrenching choice.
2. St. Louis: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
He’s the better pass protector right now.
3. Jacksonville: QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
After much debate, Jaguars choose the conservative route.
4. Cleveland: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
He is the irresistible fruit.
5. Oakland: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Lucky Matt Schaub had Andre Johnson in Houston, now gets Watkins in Oakland.
6. Atlanta: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Mack’s quick get-off on artificial turf? Yikes.
7. Tampa Bay: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Elite size puts him on a different plane from Watkins.
8. Minnesota: LB Anthony Barr, UCLA
New coach Mike Zimmer takes best available defender.
9. Buffalo: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
Surprise fall for raw, talented lineman.
10. Detroit: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
The only player in the top 10 I have never wavered on.
11. Tennessee: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Ray Horton (remember him?) wins draft-day debate.
12. N.Y. Giants: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
A nod to QB Eli Manning.
13. St. Louis: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
You know there will be shockers. Here is one.
14. Chicago: DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Fastest-rising defensive player in the draft.
15. Pittsburgh: WR Odell Beckham, Louisiana State
Steelers generally take cornerbacks much later.
16. Dallas: DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
Cowboys need more help on defensive front.
17. Baltimore: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Funny, Oz. Real funny.
18. NY Jets: TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
This would help the offense a lot.
19. Miami: OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
Dolphins makeover of offensive line would be complete.
20. Arizona: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
Big-armed pocket passer for the future.
21. Green Bay: FS Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Packers need a center fielder to ogle Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford.
22. Philadelphia: WR Marqise Lee, Southern California
Replacement for DeSean Jackson.
23. Kansas City: WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State.
Best available receiver here keeps changing.
24. Cincinnati: CB Bradley Robey, Ohio State
Bengals like to collect CBs in first round.
25. San Diego: DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Zeroing in on defensive lineman here.
26. Cleveland: ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Best ILB trumps sixth-best WR or fourth-best CB.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Use the hashtag #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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