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Draft gives Cleveland Browns multiple quarterbacking options

Posted Mar 11, 2014

Senior Editor Vic Carucci has put together his list of needs, from nine to one, for the Browns to address through free agency and the draft. At No. 1, quarterback.

Bridgewater, Manziel and Bortles are expected to be selected high in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Will May’s NFL draft offer the quarterback riches that were found in the league’s 2012 player selection meeting?

Most analysts think not.

The common description of this year’s quarterback crop is that it doesn’t include an Andrew Luck or a Robert Griffin III, the top two choices in ’12. There might not even be a Russell Wilson, although few people saw him in the same light then, as a third-rounder, as they do since he helped the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl last month.

But Wilson’s success is a reminder that good quarterbacks don’t necessarily have to be found at the top of the draft.

For the Browns, who had three different starting quarterbacks last season and no clear-cut choice to occupy the No. 1 spot in 2014, that figures to be good news.

That’s because the Browns could very well select a quarterback with the fourth overall pick. Or they could wait and pick one with their second first-round selection, 26th overall. Or they could wait even longer and choose one with their second round pick (35th overall) or with one of their two third-round choices (71st and 83rd).

Or, with all of that draft capital in the first three rounds, they could work a trade that would allow them to maneuver to a particular spot to pick a quarterback.

And, even if scouts don’t see another Luck emerging from the Class of ’14, they do see a good deal of promise from the likes of Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, and Fresno State’s Derek Carr.

Multiple draft analysts have the Houston Texans making Bortles the top pick of the draft. Others see the Browns grabbing Bridgewater or Bortles fourth overall. Some see them targeting Carr at 26th.

There has been speculation that the Browns will try to make a deal with the Texans to acquire Matt Schaub, whom Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan guided successfully when he held the same position in Houston.

For now, the Browns figure to have someone to competently fill the quarterback spot in Brian Hoyer, who looked good in two full games before suffering a season-ending knee injury, permanently or as a temporary option until a rookie is ready to take over.

>>This Road to the Draft segment is driven by Liberty Ford.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.