Jim O'Connor - USA Today Sports

Rumor Central: Local interest in Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook builds in advance of key OSU-MSU game

Do the Browns need a quarterback? The answer to that will likely be discovered later this season but, for now, there's a lot of interest in one Connor Cook

The Browns travails at the quarterback position have been well-documented. Not only have the Browns burned through a couple dozen starting quarterbacks in the expansion era, the team has been fooled on draft day time and again. 

The Browns front office has been coaxed into pulling the trigger on a number of "false positives" during their franchise quarterback search, goofing (arguably) with Tim Couch and (inarguably) with Charlie Frye, Colt McCoy, Luke McCown, Brandon Weeden and more.

This team screws up picking quarterbacks the way I screw up cooking anything more complex than a toaster waffle. At the end of the process in either case, I'm stressed, there's a stink in the air, the building is burning down, and the end result is completely inedible. 

Will Johnny Manziel join that list of draft misses? We'll find out over the rest of the season, hopefully in a definitive manner one way or the other. It would certainly be very "Browns" for the team to end the season still unconvinced about Manziel's prospects either way. 

With such experience behind them, it's no wonder that Browns fans are skeptical in advance about any of the top tier QB prospects in this year's draft: Paxton Lynch, Cardale Jones, Connor Cook, and Jarod Goff. The response to the notion of the Browns drafting any on the forums tends to be "Well, that's it for his career".

Regardless of whether you consider a Browns QB draft choice to be as doomed as an ice-cold beer in this writer's approximate vicinity, we're going to be hearing a lot about all four three of these quarterbacks in the coming months, so we had better start tracking them in Rumor Central, even though we still have nothing to tie the Browns to Cook other than the normal pre-draft due diligence. 

Example A is a recent article at Cleveland largest newspaper's web site, which is taking the week off of agitating for a hapless Browns boycott or handing out completely oblivious medical advice to document the recent history of Connor Cook, Michigan State quarterback. This is a key juncture for Cook, who faces top-ranked Ohio State and their maniacal pass rush on Saturday. Cook has shown well on a big stage, for the most part, going 7-3 in key games in recent years. 

The article, linked here, lays out the high-level pros and cons of Cook. Pros include a high TD-to-INT ratio, solid play in big games, and an Ohio background (seriously). Cons include a low completion percentage, some dubious mechanics, no one going to his birthday party not being voted captain of his team (seriously), and not having a magical amulet protecting him from whatever curses haunt the Browns. 

Unfortunately, Cook's Ohio background will cause some to consider than an advantage since, you know, that's always worked so well in the past. 

Despite those worries, the Browns will be in attendance at the Ohio State - Michigan game and. when not drooling over Joey Bosa and friends, they will likely be looking to see how Cook responds in such an important game, giving Cook's performance an impact in the player's future financial prospects as great as it's impact in the BCS standings.

(Of course, this writer is just assuming the Browns will be watching Cook. Note the weaselly use of the word "likely". Still, I'm hoping someone will misinterpret my assumption as fact and use this article as the basis for a baseless rumor of their own. Such obtuse media behavior is the very foundation of Rumor Central.)

Ohio State and Michigan State kick off at 3:30PM on Saturday (ABC). Must viewing for Browns fans, as well as Buckeyes fans. 

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