NFL Draft Rumors: Browns To Privately Work Out Quarterbacks; Falcons Open To Trading Up

2014 quarterback class
2014 quarterback class
Eastern Illinois quarterback James Garoppolo FL Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron L Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater R and Texas AM Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel FR look on during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium Brian Spurlock USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL Draft nears, more rumors continue to swirl. Just a day removed from the news Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer will not attend Johnny Manziel’s Pro Day at Texas A&M, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the team will hold private workouts for the former Heisman Trophy winner, as well as the rest of the top quarterback prospects.

In addition to Manziel, the team will work out Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Arron Murray. Farmer, as well as first-year coach Mike Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains will be in attendance. Owner Jimmy Haslam will not be.

Cleveland released former first-round pick Brandon Weeden earlier in the offseason and the former first-rounders has since signed on with the Dallas Cowboys. The team also cut journeyman backup Jason Campbell, leaving only Brian Hoyer as an experienced starter. And in terms of experience, Hoyer started three games last season and has four starts total in his career.

Pettine acknowledged the team will select a quarterback, but like Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien did not guarantee the team would do so with the No. 4 selection. The Browns have two first-round picks, making one the top four prospects more likely to fall to them.

“We’re doing our homework on all these guys and we’re going to log a lot of miles here in the next couple weeks and hopefully we can find that quarterback that’s going to best serve the Cleveland Browns,” Pettine told the Plain Dealer. “The fourth pick, there’s going to be some outstanding players available. But. …if that best player is a quarterback, we’re in a position to take him. And if it’s not, it’s a deep enough class that we could pursue that option later in the draft.”

The Atlanta Falcons have earned a reputation for being aggressive in the draft. We all remember when the team offered up a king’s ransom to trade up for Julio Jones back in 2011, and perhaps this year the team is gearing up to pull off a similar stunt.

According to ESPN, the Falcons are open to trading up in the draft. The team currently holds the No. 6 overall selection but is aggressively looking to return to contention, and if moving up to select the top guy on the team’s board will do that, don’t count Atlanta out.

The Falcons are projected to nab Buffalo’s Khalil Mack in the XN Mock Draft 1.0, but there is certainly room for the team to move up in the draft.

The St. Louis Rams have openly stated they’re open to moving out of the No. 2 slot. Depending on what the Texans do at the top regarding quarter, Jadeveon Clowney could be the the Falcons’ target. The Oakland Raiders are also believed to be willing to move after acquiring Matt Schaub. The Raiders hold the fifth overall pick.

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Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.