It’s 12 day until the Colts are on the clock, and we’re squarely into the Pinocchio phase of the pre-draft grapevine.
Case in point: Someone in Berea is pushing the notion that the Browns have received interest from at least four teams for the fourth pick in the first round.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Rams at No. 6 and the Eagles at No. 15 are believed to be interested in moving up, along with two other unknown teams.
Setting aside for now (as if we ever truly respect it) the unwritten rule that journalists shouldn’t speculate about each other’s sources, it’s hardly a stretch to conclude that Cabot is getting her info from someone with the team she covers on a daily basis. And it wouldn’t be the first time that a team with a broader agenda uses a local writer to advance it.
That’s not a knock on Cabot. It’s not for her to say who is and isn’t telling her the truth, especially when the folks who run the Plain Dealer have shown an inclination to hide under the bed whenever the Big Show starts bellowing. She’s reporting what she’s being told, and there’s no practical way to confirm that it’s 100 percent accurate without administering strong doses of truth serum to her sources in Cleveland, to Rams coach Jeff Fisher, and/or to Eagles coach Andy Reid.
The truth is that no one is telling the truth at this time of the year. If the Browns actually want quarterback Ryan Tannehill at No. 4, the Browns should be worried that the Vikings will trade down from the third spot with a team that thinks the only way to get Tannehill is to get in front of the Browns. By creating a sense of nonchalance regarding the prospect of moving down, the Browns send a not-so-subtle message that they aren’t planning to use the fourth pick on Tannehill.
The other impediment to a potential trade comes from the massive haul the Rams obtained from the Redskins for the second overall pick. Whatever the Browns get for the fourth pick will be compared to the three ones and a two that St. Louis finagled for stepping back only four spots. Though there’s a inverse Richter scale quality to the upper reaches of the draft, many Browns fans will try to make an apples-to-apples argument — especially since it would be the third time in four years that the Browns opted not to pull the trigger on a top-1o pick but instead chose to trade down.
So look for more reports and rumors and related scuttlebutt to circulate before the draft, and then look for all of that to be forgotten once the Commissioner starts shuttling back and forth to the podium.