Is Cleveland's Interest In Clausen Real Or A Ploy?

gary wertmanCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 21: Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish avoids a sack by Twyon Martin #4 and Jesse Joseph #91 of the Univeristy of Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium on November 21, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. Connecticut defeated Notre Dame 33-30 in double overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Everyone in the NFL knows the Cleveland Browns want to draft a quarterback. Who they are targeting remains a mystery.

Mike Holmgren, who said last week at the owners meetings, that he wished he liked Jimmy Clausen more. Leaving some to doubt whether Clausen is Holmgren’s type of quarterback. Now it appears Clausen will be brought in by the Browns for an interview. Does this mean Holmgren has had a change of heart?

With the number seven pick in the first round, Clausen may or may not still be on the board when the Browns make their selection. Of the teams ahead of Cleveland, only St.Louis with the first pick and Washington who picks at number four, are a threat to take a QB. If Clausen slides past the Redskins, it could open trade opportunities for the Browns.  They might receive offers to trade down from teams wanting Clausen, thinking the Browns want him as well. Or it could force a team to leap over the Browns to get to Clausen, causing Eric Berry to fall to them.

Mike Holmgren, who has twelve picks, could move up and get any QB he wants in the draft. While he has made it known he likes Sam Bradford a lot, I don’t think Holmgren wants to pay the high price of moving to number one. Unless Bradford falls to three or four, I think Colt McCoy is the next QB they have their sights on.

If Cleveland can land both Berry and get their QB in the first two rounds, I think they will be very pleased. If Berry’s not there and they are able to trade down and still get Earl Thomas and their QB, while acquiring more picks, they still win.

Mike Holmgren may have a legitimate interest in Clausen. The closer it gets to draft day, the more smoke screens will appear.  It’s already getting a little foggy.

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