Every hard-core fans knows that this time of year is filled with smoke, mirror, lies, and more lies, as team's try to hold their thoughts secret from their competitors. Agents try to pump up interest in their players. An increasingly crowded field of media vultures circle it all, looking for hints of truth in the mist.
With that in mind, we present... THE LIST.
Bernie's Insiders has maintained this list of players through-out the course of the off-season as we have reported or seen references to individual college players who have attracted the attention of the team. That attention may have been a personal visit, a workout, scout attention at the combine, a combine interview, or even an agent or school saying that the team asked for game film.
This list is by no means a complete representation of the team's interests. The Browns have ranked 155 players, and there are only 71 listed here, including some who may not be considered among the top 155 by the team.
The Browns were able to ask 20 players to visit their campus. We believe we have identified fourteen of those (in red), and three others we believe are possible visits (in orange).
Here are some things we can tell, however:
- The Browns are very interested in defensive tackles. This one position out of 22 on on the team represents 10 of the 71 players on the list.
- The Browns interest in wide receivers is slanted toward possible high picks and has a number of visits... the highest percentage of visits to Berea of any position in the draft.
- Quarterbacks evaluated by the team cover any place in the draft order from the top of the first to rookie free agents, as do a number of other positions, such as offensive linemen and linebackers.
You can form more of your own conclusions as you look through the names.
Players invited to Berea are at the top of each position list in alphabetical order. Others are listed below, also in alphabetical order.
Although likely to go to San Francisco, Rodgers visited Berea for a workout and could be of interest to the team under the right circumstances
Jason Campbell, Auburn VISIT
Has been talked by Savage since before the NFL Combine, and visited with the Browns in April
Alex Smith, Utah
Browns are reportedly high on the bright quarterback from Utah, so much so that many predict he will be taken with the #3 pick if he's available and the team is unable to trade down
Southern Connecticut State
Another small school quarterback who has interested the Browns
Charlie Frye, Akron
The Browns brain trust personally attended his workout, and did not require him to visit Cleveland for a private workout because of the closeness to Akron. They've also had Frye look at film with them.
Recruited by QB Coach Rip Scherer to Memphis, and has continued to stay in touch with his old coach. Scherer looks to be a strong voice in favor of taking a look at Wimprine on Day 2 or as a rookie free agent.
According to published reports, the Browns have sought game film on Wrobel.
The Browns have been all over Barron, although conventional wisdom does not have them picking the OT at #3, and he is unlikely to be available after the first round. There is no doubt of the Browns' interest in Barron from their behavior at the FSU Pro Day and Combine. He makes most sense if the Browns are able to get a draft pick in the upper-mid first round.
According to published reports, the Browns have asked for game film on the small school lineman
Browns scouts were at his workout, but the extent of their interest isn't known
Stefan Rodgers, Lambuth
No school is too small to escape the eyes of Browns scouts looking to improve the team's offensive line
Told local papers in his hometown of Marion, Indiana that the Browns were among the teams most interested in his services, either late in the draft or as a rookie free agent.
J.J. Arlington, California
Told reporters at the NFL combine that the Browns were one of two teams who had displayed the most interest in him.
The Browns were one of eight teams to send a representative to look at Clarett's workout after his poor Combine performance.
Interviewed with the Browns during the February Combines (prior to the acquisition of Droughns). Considered by some to be a potential sleeper at RB.
Nehemiah Broughton, Citadel
Interviewed with the Browns during the Combine
Ray Goodson, Southeast Missouri State
The Browns have reportedly taken a look at the small-school tight end
Northern Colorado VISIT
Fleet receiver who has been shooting up the draft boards. Not expected to go in the first round, but his value is increasing. At least five other teams are interested.
Ex-quarterback who has gotten a lot of attention and might be available at the Browns' #34 spot. Visit to Berea may help attract trade interest in the pick. Browns also saw Jones' impressive Pro Day workout.
South Carolina VISIT
Don't underestimate the Browns interest in the speedy receiver who visited Berea early on (March). Might wear orange and brown if the team can trade into the proper spot
Ralph Plumb, SCSU
Had the fortune to attend the same school as Sarth Benoit, and was observed by Browns scouts at a workout there.
Hannibal Thompson, Cincinnati
The Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi has reported that Thompson has worked out for the Browns
John Fanene, Utah
We're unsure if the Browns brought Fanene into Berea, but they clearly wanted to learn more about the defensive end
Jordan Brumbaugh, Tuskegee
The Browns sent a scout to watch Brumbaugh's workout. Brumbaugh could fit as a prototypical DE/LB in a Crennel defense.
Defensive lineman who could provide some versatility on a now-thin defensive line. Could play either defensive tackle or end.
The Browns travelled to Wisconsin to see the defensive end work out at linebacker. James is also unlikely to be available to the Browns other than via a trade into the upper-mid first round.
Eric Moore, Florida State
Another prospect who might be able to play either defensive end or linebacker. The Browns paid close attention to his workout on FSU's Pro Day.
The defensive tackle visited Cleveland for a private workout in April
Another defensive tackle from Missouri who visited Cleveland for a private workout recently.
His stock has dropped of late, but we saw the Browns chatting with him at the Senior Bowl and they seem to have had continuing interest.
Bill Rees attended Hoffman's workout in Virginia, and he still seems to have the team's interest
Travis Johnson, Florida State
The Browns were watching Johnson during his reportedly-unimpressive Pro Day appearance. Johnson is also expected to be taken in the mid-late first round, so the Browns interest would only make sense in a trade scenario.
Marcus Lorick, Eastern Illinois
Told local papers that the Browns and Jaguars had the most interest in him as a late-round pick or potential free agent.
Grand Valley State
Potential rookie free agent for the Browns, who has apparently shown up on the team's radar
Browns scouts intensely watched Shropshire during the Combine, according to our sources. Shropshire is a defensive tackle.
Southern Connecticut State VISIT
Interest from the Browns has been echoed in a number of places, although it's not known if the Browns look at him as an inside or outside linebacker.
Nick Speegle, New
We reported on this during New Mexico's Pro Day, and there's been no let-up in the Browns interest in this linebacker. Several other teams are also interested.
Bill Rees attended his workout, and local papers had Blackstock saying that the Browns checked out his background via a phone call
Published reports have the Browns interested in Enzor, although we don't believe anyone was at his private workout
According to local newspaper reports, Fincher said the Browns had an interest in having him workout
Dennis Haley, Virginia
The Canton Repository was the first to report that the Browns were possibly interested in this Virginia linebacker
The buzz around Johnson heading to Cleveland has eased in recent weeks, but don't be fooled. While some argue that Johnson struggles when blocked (the same is said about Ray Lewis), the Texas backer will go in top half of the first. Now seems more likely as a Browns pick if they trade down, however.
Versatile linebacker who might be able to sneak up due to a relatively weak inside linebacker class in this year's draft. The Browns are one of many teams who have displayed interest.
Leonard Weaver, Carson-Newman
Local papers in his Florida hometown indicate that Weaver worked out for the Browns, and several other teams, who might be interested in him as a late-round pick or rookie free agent.
Abram Elam, Kent State
Bill Rees and Phil As reported exclusively on Bernie's Insiders, Savage watched a private workout by the sleeper Kent State defensive back with a difficult past.
Jermaine Hardy, Virginia
This safety is one of a number of Virginia prospects reported to interest the Browns
We're unsure of the depth of the Browns interest, but they were watching a Pro Day where Hodge and DT Larry Burt were key attractions
John McPherson, Central Missouri
The Browns have displayed some interest in McPherson, although we don't know if they have worked him out privately.
Very little confirmation of Browns interest in Rolle, although he is undoubtedly of interest to them.
Paul Ernster, Northern
Potential late-round or free agent kicker pickup who has reportedly made an impression on a number of NFL teams.
Worked out for the Browns in March as a long-snapper, and reportedly impressed scouts