The never-predictable Cleveland Browns remain one of football's most intriguing teams. Beyond the endless stream of front office firings lies an organization with strong pieces and one of the NFL's best receivers -- but with nobody to throw him the ball. It seems the draft should be cut and dry, but general manager Ray Farmer is hinting otherwise.
Farmer spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday and said his organization could throw "curveballs," relating to the seemingly obvious selection of a quarterback, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
"It could be safe, but we might not go that direction," Farmer said. "It may not be what everybody thinks it's going to be, so there's an opportunity for some curveballs."
Maybe it's time for the Browns to throw a nice safe pitch over the middle of the plate in order to get a home run. Cleveland's drafting history over the past few years has been full of ups and downs, boldly playing its hand in the supplemental draft to secure Josh Gordon but also missing out on a cadre of talented players by making trades that landed Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden.
Executives managed to saddle the Indianapolis Colts with Richardson in order to recoup a first-round pick, but Weeden's selection has been an abject disaster and will better be remembered for a missed opportunity at Russell Wilson than anything Weeden did on the field.
Holding a top-five pick and a second first-rounder almost assures the Browns of finding a quarterback, provided the board falls as they need. It might be some early misdirection, but Farmer was more concerned with discussing the passers on the team's roster.
"I definitely believe in a lot of the traits that Brian Hoyer has demonstrated he has," Farmer said.
Turning the keys over to a 28-year-old journeyman quarterback would be an odd decision for a franchise looking to make its mark, but this is an odd team that is perfectly content swimming against the stream. Three months remain before the NFL Draft and there's no clue what Cleveland will do in the draft, but hopefully the new front office has a solid plan.