Although Browns coach Pat Shurmur says his team is moving forward with Colt McCoy at quarterback, drafting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill remains a possibility.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns will bring in Tannehill as one of their 30 pre-draft visits. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Browns view Tannehill as their best bet with the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft, but it’s still a move they’re considering. And NFL Network’s Mike Mayock endorsed Tannehill as the player the Browns should take.
“Franchise quarterback trumps all,” Mayock said on Path to the Draft. “We talk about that all the time, and I don’t believe Colt McCoy is the answer. And I do believe Ryan Tannehill could become the answer. So I believe at No. 4 they ought to pull the trigger on Tannehill.”
The question is whether they’d be passing up on an offensive playmaker they love when they pulled the trigger on Tannehill. Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon are other potential targets for the Browns at No. 4. But Mayock said the Browns would be better off drafting Tannehill at No. 4 and then using their second first-round pick, the 22nd overall selection they acquired from the Falcons in last year’s Julio Jones trade, on a running back or receiver.
“Don’t forget, Cleveland’s got No. 22 in the first round,” Mayock said. “So don’t look at this as just No. 4. You’re trying to come out of this draft the best you can. And if you want a tailback because you lost Peyton Hillis, how about Doug Martin? How about David Wilson? At No. 22 you can get one of those tailbacks. If you need a wide receiver at No. 22, what about Kendall Wright? The way I think they have to look at this thing is, go get the franchise quarterback, sit him on the bench for a little bit behind Colt McCoy, get him comfortable, and then at 22 get yourself a playmaker.”
Fourth overall is higher than most people think Tannehill will go. But if the Browns think there’s a chance Tannehill will be their franchise quarterback for years to come, they can’t pass him up.