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Johnny Manziel is the favorite to be the No. 4 overall pick if the Browns draft a quarterback.
The Cleveland Browns’ priority in this year’s draft should be improving their passing game. With a quarterback roster that consists of only Brian Hoyer and Alex Tanney, they could look to draft a signal-caller with the No. 4 overall pick, but they could also be in the market for another receiving playmaker.
According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, sources have indicated that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and head coach Mike Pettine covet Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, while position coaches and scouts prefer Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Both players have special skill sets that could warrant a top-five draft pick and could add much-needed dynamism to Cleveland’s offense.
Manziel has done his part to persuade Cleveland's front office. Per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the 2012 Heisman winner is determined to bring his winning ways to the Browns if they select him:
If something happens, and it's the Cleveland Browns, I'm going to pour my heart out for the Dawg Pound and try to win a Super Bowl for Cleveland. I don't care if they've had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999. I'm going to be the 21st and the guy that brought them the Super Bowl.
Quarterback is the more pressing need for Cleveland, but there are other directions in which it could go to address that position.
The Browns could hope one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft falls to the 26th selection or their second-round pick (No. 35 overall). Another option could be trading for a veteran like Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins, as Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer recently suggested.
Terrelle Pryor, who the Oakland Raiders are planning to release on Monday, according to Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez, could also draw interest from Cleveland.
Ultimately, the decision should come down to whether the Browns believe there is a quarterback worth the No. 4 overall pick that they won’t be able to get later in the draft. That could even lead Cleveland to Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, whom the Browns “really love,” according to B/R’s Mike Freeman and whom Miller actually projected to be the No. 4 overall pick in his “What I’m Hearing” mock draft.
If the Browns decide to go another direction than quarterback at No. 4, Watkins is favored to be the pick. Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans and Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson shouldn’t be ruled out as possibilities either.