The Cleveland Browns liked what they saw from quarterback Brian Hoyer last season, but they're expected to do everything they can to create competition for him when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around. As it happens, "everything they can" could include drafting multiple quarterbacks to push Hoyer, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Head coach Mike Pettine said that it's possible the team will draft two quarterbacks much like the Redskins did in 2012. It's worth noting, however, that one of the players Washington drafted in 2012 was Robert Griffin III, who was the No. 2 overall pick and unquestioned starter heading into training camp. Kirk Cousins was an interesting pickup and filled in nicely when Griffin was hurt, but he never pushed Griffin when it came to the starting role, as far as we know.
Cleveland holds the the No. 4 overall pick in the draft and could certainly make waves by landing one of UCF's Blake Bortles or Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, if either is still on the board. That said, the Browns aren't totally committed to taking a quarterback at No. 4, as noted by Marc Sessler of NFL.com.
Widely considered the top defensive player in the draft, Jadeveon Clowney could be an option at No. 4. Pettine said that "as a defensive coach, I don't think I'd be too sad to turn in a card on Clowney at No. 4." Whatever the case, the Browns aren't exactly being open with the quarterbacks they're after. In fact, general manager Ray Farmer is trying to obfuscate things as much as possible.
Farmer will not attend Johnny Manziel's pro day on Thursday, hoping to "maintain a cloak of secrecy regarding the team's intentions," according to a report from ESPN. Farmer did, however, attend pro days for the aforementioned Bridgewater and Bortles. It's kind of a silly situation, given that Manziel is obviously on Cleveland's radar and the team would be doing itself a disservice not to look at the top signal callers coming out this year.
Manziel will almost certainly visit the Browns, or they'll visit him in some capacity. Pro days are almost entirely scripted events in which little can be learned about a player. There's rarely an "amazing" pro day for quarterbacks these days.
Here's some other draft rumors from Tuesday:
The Atlanta Falcons have been no strangers to trading up in the draft in recent years. Under Thomas Dimitroff, they gave up an awful lot to acquire wide receiver Julio Jones -- giving up five draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to take Jones at No. 6 in the 2011 NFL Draft. Dimitroff has made it clear going forward that the Falcons are willing to stay put, move up or move down when it comes to the 2014 NFL Draft.
On Tuesday, the willingness to move up became a little more concrete, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Falcons are the "first team known to be willing to go up." There's been a lot of talk about potentially trading down, namely from teams in need of a quarterback that would prefer to grab one a bit later on given the deep class.
The Falcons may actually be interested in this, or they could simply be trying to confuse everyone as to their actual intentions. Alternatively, they could just be making it clear that they will do what it takes to get the players they want. It's unclear who they might be after at this point, but they're considered one or two prime defensive players away from being a very complete football team.
Jags open to trade, want to build through draft
The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft, and have a long list of needs. They have so many needs that the team might actually consider trading out of that pick to get more ammunition later in the round or picks in the other early rounds. General manager David Caldwell told the media on Monday that the team has "options" with the third pick, and that there may be "some opportunity to maybe move, or just stay where we're at," according to the team website.
It's not the first time the Jaguars have talked openly about a potential move from No. 3, which almost assuredly means a move down to later in the draft. Their top need is a quarterback, but it's worth noting that they have suggested for some time that any quarterback who will be drafted could sit for his rookie year, so he's prepared to come in and play rather than get overwhelmed as a rookie.
Seeming to back up that notion, team owner Shad Khan met with the media on Tuesday and suggested that Jacksonville may not draft a quarterback at No. 3, according to Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union. Khan eluded to the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, two teams that acquired their franchise quarterbacks -- Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, respectively -- later in the draft. He said that quarterback is a key component, but that you "can't just throw your hands up," before discussing San Francisco and Seattle.