Browns General Manager Ray Farmer is enjoying the cloak of mystery surrounding his intentions with the fourth and 26th picks of the draft and coach Mike Pettine is doing a good job of helping to keep things up in the air.
Pettine disputed a report that the team would not select Johnny Manziel with the fourth overall selection, saying that Manziel remained under consideration by the team. Given the other options that will be available, using the fourth pick on a quarterback would come with a fair amount of pressure for him to start early in his career and the Browns have expressed confidence in Brian Hoyer as the 2014 starter. Pettine has done so again, comparing Hoyer favorably to the quarterbacks available in the draft.
“There will be competition, but I think it will be very difficult, based on my evaluation of this year’s draft class, it will be very difficult for anyone in this draft class to come in and beat [Hoyer] out. I really believe that,” Pettine said, via Lindsay Jones of USA Today. “There’s that certain it factor he has. Just the way he’s attacked his rehab, the way he’s attacked learning a new offense. What jumped out was his accuracy. I think him going through the drill work that we had put the quarterbacks through in their workouts, and compared it to those guys — it was encouraging to see.”
Given all the work they’ve done evaluating them, all the shuffling doesn’t do much to mitigate the feeling that the Browns will have a new quarterback on the roster soon. With three of the first 35 picks at their disposal, they can keep everyone guessing about when they’ll take one.