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Fans ask, Vic answers: What to do with the Cleveland Browns’ 4th overall draft pick?

Posted Mar 31, 2014

Senior Editor Vic Carucci answers fan questions from the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and Daily@ClevelandBrowns.com.

General Manager Ray Farmer and Coach Mike Pettine

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and Daily@ClevelandBrowns.com. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Soul Street Café says: “I think that the Browns should draft Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron in the third round and load up with the first three picks at WR, CB & either OT or OG.”

I say: I’m not a big fan of drafting McCarron, even in the third round, Soul Street Café.

I agree that a third-round choice is commensurate with his value and I know he was a highly productive and efficient college quarterback, but I just don’t see enough upside to the pick.

A quarterback selected in the third round will be expected to make a significant long-term impact, and I have my doubts about McCarron. My biggest issue with him is that he doesn’t throw the tightest spiral, which is essential for dealing with the inclement weather that quarterbacks routinely face in the AFC North.

I could easily see the Browns addressing the three positions you mentioned with their first three picks. If they keep the fourth overall choice, conventional wisdom suggests that they go with Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. But I'm not overly comfortable with making a receiver a top-five pick unless I know he's going to be Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald ... or Josh Gordon (who, of course, entered the league as a second-round supplemental pick). I don't know if Watkins or any receiver in this draft is one of those guys.

However, receiver and cornerback offer enough depth that if the Browns were to choose an offensive tackle in the No. 4 spot, they could still get a good receiver or cornerback with the 26th overall pick, and then draft a player at whatever spot they don’t address at No. 26 with their next choice.

I’m torn, though, on what to do at No. 4 and No. 26. A large part of me continues to believe that the Browns will go with a quarterback at one of those spots.

The Career Coach says: “Sorry, Johnny Manziel’s impressive pro-day workout doesn’t show in the games. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson threw from the pocket in college.”

I say: Good points, Career Coach.

As far as I’m concerned, there are as many questions about Manziel’s NFL future now as there were before his pro day. The fact he threw a variety of passes fairly well shouldn’t have been a shock, given that he was operating under the ideal conditions that an indoor pro-day session would offer.

But the concerns over his lack of size and the fact he made the vast majority of his big plays outside of the pocket at Texas A&M will linger until he plays an NFL game.

The favorable comparisons that have been made between Manziel and Brees/Russell do fall short when it comes to their style of play. You are correct in noting that Brees and Wilson had the bulk of their collegiate success from the pocket and remain comfortable there as pros.

I have a hard time envisioning Manziel succeeding in a similar way. He does his best work when he is on the move, and it would make little sense to try and turn him into something he is not: a pocket passer.

Manziel would need to function in a scheme specifically designed to take full advantage of his strengths.

>>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.

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