The Cleveland Browns are among the teams looking for a franchise quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft, but contrary to popular belief, the team may not use the fourth overall pick to select that kind of player.
“(Cleveland’s) guy is (Fresno State quarterback) Derek Carr and they’re going to take a different player with the fourth pick and they want to take Derek Carr with their second one (at No. 26). … I heard that from several different places,” NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah said Wednesday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”
What the Browns do with the No. 4 pick likely will be determined by who’s available at that time. If Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is on the board — who’s considered to be the most NFL-ready quarterback in this class — Cleveland might strongly consider taking him. Central Florida’s Blake Bortles is another intriguing quarterback prospect and likely will be picked in the top five.
The Browns have taken a quarterback in the last third of the first round in two of the last seven drafts, and both players (Brady Quinn at No. 22 in 2007 and Brandon Weeden at No. 22 in 2012) failed to grasp the starting job.
The Browns have plenty of quality options if they don’t take a quarterback with their initial first-round pick. Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mike Evans (Texas A&M) are two big wide receivers with impressive speed, and either one would form a nice duo with Josh Gordon in the Cleveland passing attack.
If South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is still on the board when the Browns are on the clock, it would be hard to pass on a once-in-a-generation pass rusher. Cleveland’s defense needs to put more pressure on the quarterback next season and Clowney is the perfect player for that.