The Fast Lane

So what quarterbacks are realistic options for the Browns at No. 4? Lane Adkins has the latest.

The landscape at the quarterback position in this draft differs depending on whom you talk to. I am not talking about the media, the draft pundits, but rather personnel within NFL team offices.

With that being said, let's do this …

- Within the Browns organization only team owner Jimmy Haslam, general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine know which way the organization is leaning with the fourth overall selection in the draft.

Nearly every well-known quarterback in the draft has been linked with the Browns, because of their need and desire to add a young, franchise potential signal caller. Those players theOBR has mentioned in January remain in the equation, in some capacity.

In this column we will discuss the quarterbacks that we are hearing to be realistic options for the Browns in the first round.

Those quarterbacks include Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr and Blake Bortles.

- Teddy Bridgewater is a quarterback most teams see as the type of player that will give effort, nothing flashy with an excellent football mindset that should limit errors, as well as flash.

A couple teams see Bridgewater as the type of quarterback that can excel in the short offense or the differing versions of the West Coast Offense, though teams with the vertical look versions of the WCO are legitimately concerned with his down-field accuracy, while others simply believe Bridgewater has enough size and skill-set to become a starter at the next level.

The Browns have not excluded Bridgewater from their quarterback landscape, but have heard he will not be the selection for the Browns at No. 4, but later in the first round makes him a much more legitimate potential target.

- Johnny Manziel continues to be a quarterback some teams love while others are wary of the sideshow sure to follow his selection.

TheOBR has learned Manziel's private workout with the team went very well. The quarterback is said to have made every type of throw the Browns brass wanted to see and did well when challenged by the Browns to identify where to go with the ball against specific defensive looks.

Manziel is included in the latest internal quarterback discussions within the past few days and has been referred to as being in the hunt with an early pick of the Browns and would be best served going to a situation where he can learn to play within a structured system as well as gaining experience under center.

- Farmer has kept an eye on quarterback Derek Carr for months and it is believed the Browns general manager made a couple recommendations to Carr in January on how to improve his status/game.

In a nut-shell, the Browns believe Carr has a great arm, excellent touch and vision and has been negatively slotted as a player with footwork issues and an inability to handle pressure.

When a member of the Browns organization was recently asked about the perception of the quarterback, the Fast Lane learned the Browns do not have such issues with the player and specifically, "Did you see what he had in front of him and the system he was in? He carried that team and we like the versatility he shows on tape going back a couple years running an entirely different offensive scheme."

TheOBR continues to hear Carr remains high on Farmer's list.

- "Blake Bortles could have used another season at the collegiate level," a member of the Browns tells theOBR.

The Browns love his size, his physical ability to make plays while on the move and his improved touch in the passing game.

TheOBR has learned the Browns believe Bortles needs to gain experience – he needs some refining with his mechanics.

Within the Browns organization, theOBR has learned the decision-makers believe Bortles may have the highest ceiling in this draft at the position.

The Browns enter the 2014 NFL Draft beating their own drum. The organization knows they need to address the quarterback position, they also know the likelihood of securing a quarterback of substance following the mid-point of the first-round diminishes.

Knowing what I know, if there is a quarterback Farmer truly likes at No. 4, he will make the move, whether the popular move or not.

And that quarterback would have to be impressive, as the Browns hold players such as LB Khalil Mack, OT Greg Robinson, OT Jake Matthews, WR Sammy Watkins and WR Mike Evans in very high regard.


The OBR Top Stories