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In 2001, draft "gurus" throughout the land prepared to watch the Browns draft to a point of need: offense. Butch Davis surprised most pundits when he selected Gerard Warren, the hard-charging defensive tackle, with the Browns #1 choice.
Again this year, the majority of pundits expect the Browns to select RB T.J. Duckett with their 16th pick. But, perhaps thinking back to the mild surprise from 2001, there is an eagerness to try to discern the Browns intentions, which may be anything but the predictable.
There are stories in this morning's Bernies Insiders newswire which speculate that the Browns are trading up. Stories which speculate that they are trading down. Interest mentioned in a lot of players other than Duckett, with Levi Jones taking today's prize as the featured story in two articles. Ed Reed is mentioned. Roy Williams is mentioned. The list goes on.
One can't help but assume that this is exactly what Davis wants. There is enough confusion in the air that the Browns intentions are not clear to the teams which surround them in the draft. This is especially useful for trade-down scenarios as teams have no idea who the Browns will select.
The most stunning story of the day, however, comes from Pat McManamon of the Akron Beacon-Journal. McManamon is the only local reporter chasing down a story that the Browns have dangled Jamir Miller to other teams as a means to get additional draft choices. This is indeed a surprising story, as Miller is coming off his first Pro Bowl season and is viewed as an anchor for this defense. It is also surprising as Miller has been with the Browns since the start - such a move might have a negative locker room impact.
But there it is, in black and white. The Browns have considered dealing Miller. McManamon's story is must-reading on today's wire.
Rumors swirl. Chaos appears to reign. Butch Davis sits back and smiles.