The Cleveland Browns have been searching for a franchise quarterback since they came back to the NFL in 1999, and after another disappointing season, the team may look to use its trade assets to move up in the 2014 NFL Draft for a quarterback.
“They are willing to trade up to land Johnny Manziel in the draft if need be, sources said, and have an owner, Jimmy Haslam, who is committed to spending their abundant cap space to try to win quickly,” writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Cleveland finished 11th in the league in passing offense this past season with an average of 252.5 yards per game, but none of the quarterbacks who played significant time (Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden) played well consistently and didn’t show anything to suggest they are capable of getting the team into the playoffs. Manziel led Texas A&M to an 9-4 record in 2013 and won the Heisman Trophy in 2012. He’s projected to be a top 10 pick.
In addition to its own first-round pick, Cleveland also has a first rounder from the Indianapolis Colts that was acquired in the mid-season trade involving running back Trent Richardson. That pick could be used to move up in the draft if needed.
The Browns have the fourth pick in May’s draft after a 4-12 season. The top three picks are held by the Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively.