NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah left the scouting combine this week with an interesting opinion about which quarterback in this year's draft class is coveted by the Browns.
During an interview Wednesday with The Dan Patrick Show, Jeremiah said he has been told the Browns' new regime of General Manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine would like to pick Fresno State's Derek Carr with the team's second selection in the first round (No. 26 overall) instead of using the fourth overall choice on a quarterback like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel.
"The one thing about the combine is, you get there, you're around all your contacts, a lot of different NFL people," said Jeremiah, a former scout for the Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens. "And it had been so out there that the Browns loved Manziel under the previous regime, and I talked to enough people that firmly believe that that was a total smokescreen.
"Their guy is Derek Carr, and they're going to take a different player with the fourth pick, and they want to take Derek Carr with their second (first-round choice). So you can believe what you want to believe, but I heard that from several different places."
Most draft gurus rank Manziel, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida's Blake Bortles as the top-three quarterbacks with Carr a distant fourth.
However, Manziel has taken some shots in the wake of the combine.
In a radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said, "Manziel may fall. I'm not crazy about him, to be honest with you. I've only looked at five games. I wouldn't take him in the first three rounds. That's my opinion. It's incomplete right now. But he has not done a whole lot to me."
Jaworski later told Siriusï¿½XM NFL Radio that Manziel is "a random quarterback that likes to get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs. In the NFL, he won't last three games playing that style. He'll get hurt. He took a lot of vicious hits at A&M in two years, and those hits that have that cumulative effect will knock him out of games in the NFL."
Mike Lombardi's folder
A Browns spokesman said the team is aware of a screenshot that has circulated online showing ex-Browns GM Mike Lombardi sitting next to his new boss, New England Patriots coach Bill Beliï¿½chick, this week at the combine and flipping through a stack of notes with a Browns logo printed on the paper. The image was captured during NFL Network's coverage of the combine.
The spokesman had no further comment.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired Lombardi on Feb. 11, and Belichick has since hired him as an assistant to the coaching staff.
Haslam promoted Farmer from assistant GM to Lombardi's post and gave him control of football operations and the 53-man roster. Farmer is said not to be concerned about Lombardi having the materials caught on camera.