Lack of pre-draft contact doesn’t mean Browns weren’t interested in Mariota

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An interesting theory has emerged in the past couple of days, fueled by a remark from Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota while in Browns training facility for an event held in conjunction with the Rookie Symposium. The theory is particularly interesting because it reveals a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the way the draft works.

Here’s the theory: Because Mariota told reporters that the Browns never contacted him before the draft, the Browns weren’t interested in drafting Mariota.

“I never had any contact with the Browns,” Mariota said, via Mary Kay Cabot of

There are three major problems with assuming the lack of contact means the Browns weren’t interested. First, plenty of teams have no contact with players they eventually draft. It’s part of the smokescreen process that plays out before every draft, with plenty of players every year taken by surprise when they get a call from a team that snubbed them for most if not all of the months leading up to the draft. Second, the Browns didn’t need to contact Mariota, because quarterback coach Kevin O’Connell worked extensively with Mariota before taking the job. Third, it was widely reported and believed that the Browns, desperate to find a long-term franchise quarterback, were indeed interested in Mariota.

Even if that last part was a smokescreen, the absence of contact before the draft simply does not mean that the Browns weren’t interested.

7 responses to “Lack of pre-draft contact doesn’t mean Browns weren’t interested in Mariota

  1. The fact that the Browns did not trade up to get Mariota, even after spending so much time with O’Connell, says a lot about what they thought of the QB.

    Mainly, it says that they weren’t interested in either him, or what the Titans wanted in return for the pick.

    Mainly, it says he wasn’t worth it.

  2. I don’t think there’s any way they seriously considered another first round QB who isn’t a consensus “once in a generation” pick, only a year after they rolled the dice on Johnny. Especially if they have to trade up and use multiple picks to get a guy with a few key on-the-field question marks of his own like Mariota.

    So I think they may have been “interested”, the same way I’m “interested” in living in that nicer house down the street — but I’ll never actually talk to the realtor because I know I don’t want to spend what it takes to make it happen.

  3. @joemammy:

    Whether O’Connell wanted him or not, it’s not as if wanting to trade up to the second pick overall is the same thing as actually being able to do it.

    It’s become pretty apparent that the price for that pick was too high.

  4. The Browns would have drafted a one-legged midget that was a kicker in the first round over a QB. They learned their lesson (after the 3d time) The Browns had a very solid draft this year, surprisingly.

  5. When are the Titans going to sign Mariota?
    Seems like it’s vital to not have him miss training camp.

  6. I am hopeful that this front office (owner excluded) is smarter that some the previous iterations. Trolls be damned, they are doing a decent job of puttind a competitive team on the field, and have brought in a lot of pieces in doing so. To say otherwise is purely to stir up controversy, and there’s no shortage of that around here ! However, I think if Brownies can stay healthy, work together, they can come out of the gates strong like last season. We just don’t need another year where hopes crash into the lake 1/2 way into the season, owing to critical injuries at key positions.

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