Albert Breer of NFL Media brings up an interesting point about Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and the Browns.
Mariota has been working with Kevin O’Connell since mid-January doing quarterback drills. This is notable given that O’Connell is expected to be joining the Browns’ coaching staff as their new quarterbacks coach.
- Breer adds that Browns GM Ray Farmer has “shown a liking” for Mariota, and they have two first-round picks — No. 12 and No. 19 overall — to work with this year.
- Breer expects Farmer to get “good intel” from O’Connell as work with the Heisman Trophy winner.
Multiple reports have said that the Browns are expected to consider moving up for a quarterback in this year’s draft, so this shouldn’t come as a big surprise.
Sources tells Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report that the Browns are expected to seriously consider trading up for a quarterback in this year’s draft, even though they spent a first-round pick on Johnny Manziel just a year ago.
According to Cole, Cleveland has already been weighing the idea because they like Mariota “so much” and FSU QB Jameis Winston “too a lessor degree.”
Cole mentions that the belief within the Browns is that must find a true franchise quarterback, and there are already doubts about whether Manziel will ever be that type of player.
Given the issues with Manziel and Josh Gordon, Cole mentions that there is a “tremendous amount of fear” for their future, which is why they are giving strong consideration to the idea of trading up for one of the top two quarterback prospects.
Assuming the Buccaneers take either Mariota or Winston at No. 1 overall, the Titans would be in a perfect position to auction off the No. 2 overall pick.
While I’m sure the Browns will at least consider the idea of drafting Winston, he too comes with some question marks regarding his previous off-the-field behavior. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be shocking to hear that their preference would be to move up for Mariota instead.
Breer mentions that if the Browns were to take another quarterback in the first round this year, it would be the third time in four years they targeted the quarterback position.
This will definitely be an interesting situation to watch in the coming months.