A day after Browns coach Mike Pettine didn’t shoot down the talk of trading up in the draft for Marcus Mariota, G.M. Ray Farmer acknowledged that his team is open to the possibility.
Asked if he would seriously consider trading the Browns’ two first-round picks — No. 12 and No. 19 overall — to move up and draft Mariota, Farmer said, “Sure, why not?”
That’s the same thing Pettine said about Mariota yesterday. And Farmer also echoed Pettine’s comments on Johnny Manziel, saying the team still has Manziel in its plans and denying reports that the Browns tried to trade Manziel to the Eagles.
But if the Browns are considering spending both of this year’s first-round picks on Mariota, that strongly suggests that they’re not sold on Manziel, whom they selected in the first round last year. They can say Manziel is still in their plans, but if they trade up for Mariota, their actions will speak louder than their words.
The biggest question is how much it would take for the Browns to move up for Mariota. Under the traditional draft trade chart, the No. 12 and No. 19 picks would not be enough to convince the Titans to trade down from No. 2. The Browns might have to mortgage their future in order to trade all the way up to get Mariota.
If they’re going to do that, they’d better be positive that Mariota is their franchise quarterback of the future. Which would mean they’re also positive that Manziel is not.