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Todd Haley, Browns diving deep into talented class of draft QBs

Posted Feb 21, 2018

'You’re looking for highly-competitive guys with ability to weather the storms​'

Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley will likely have the chance to help mold a young quarterback. It’s still unclear who that might be.

Armed with the first and fourth overall picks in this year’s NFL Draft, Cleveland is poised to take a signal-caller early with the intention of ending a long history of instability at the position. And as the Browns continue to evaluate their options, Haley — who was asked about that situation in his introductory news conference last week — pointed to a story about his father, Dick, the former Steelers’ director of player personnel for almost two decades.

“When you have a couple of really high picks like we do, it’s a great opportunity. As my father always said to me, ‘When you are picking in the top 10, Todd, you better be right most of the time,’” Haley said. “That’ll be the challenge for everybody involved.”

With the league's annual scouting combine set for next week, the Browns will lean on their executive leadership team, which includes general manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson, as they continue searching for an answer at quarterback. That cast now includes Haley, who joined Cleveland’s coaching staff after six seasons in Pittsburgh, where he helped turn the Steelers into one of the league’s best offenses.

The hope is Haley will have a similar impact in Cleveland following the franchise’s first winless season. In order to turn themselves around, the Browns have made clear addressing the quarterback position remains paramount. Finding the right fit at the position could prove equally important. Beyond potential solutions in free agency — Dorsey and Jackson haven’t shied away from the notion of adding a veteran signal -aller — the draft offers the Browns a talented class of quarterbacks that includes USC’s Sam Darnold, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen.

“You’re looking for highly competitive guys with ability to weather the storms that are going to come up as a young quarterback in the league,” said Haley, who has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner and Tony Romo. “You’re looking for physical and mental toughness. Obviously, you have to have an NFL-type arm. You have to have great feel and awareness and great leadership.”

To be certain, Haley will be one of several voices working to evaluate the draft quarterbacks, collaborating with Dorsey, Jackson and the team’s personnel department.

“It’s a tough position to evaluate. It always has been, and there’s evidence of that year in and year out throughout the league,” Haley said. “Like I said, that’s one of the great challenges and I’m excited about that process.”

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