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Browns have a clear cut favorite pick at four


Farmer stopped by "Cleveland Browns Daily." The audio can be heard below

Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer's phone is continuously buzzing.

In the last 24 hours Farmer has spoken to 8-10 other general managers. Within the next week, he expects to speak to every single GM in the NFL.

"Every draft is important," Farmer said during Monday's pre-draft press conference. "It's really the lifeblood of every organization.  

With the draft 11 days away, have the Browns made up their mind on which player they are going to select with the four overall pick?

"Absolutely. The question is: will we have a chance to take him?" said Farmer.

While Farmer isn't exactly present in every draft room across the league, he said he has an idea how the top three picks are shaping up. With that being said, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder the 2014 NFL draft. Cleveland's top three could be completely different than Jacksonville's.

"We have players on our board at a variety of positions that we do think are worthy of [the 4th] pick," said Farmer. "It just comes down to what happens in front of you…There are 32 different paintings around the NFL of how people put this thing together."

At the beginning of the press conference, Farmer took a moment to recognize team owner Jimmy Haslam for his support during the lengthy draft process. Farmer said Haslam is involved in meetings and has met several prospects.

The Browns general manager said while Haslam makes sure the Browns front office is doing their due diligence, he isn't a person who is going to impede the draft process.

"He's definitely given us the resources and put us in a position to have success with all of his support," said Farmer of Haslam. "He hired me to do a job, and he's going to allow me to do it."

Farmer fielded numerous questions on quarterback prospects like Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. Farmer additionally listed six players who will likely be in play with the number four overall pick; even candidates such as a left tackles Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews, a position Joe Thomas currently occupies.

"We want to drive competition to the point where the first guy on the depth chart feels like the guy right behind him is on his heels," said Farmer.

"Joe Thomas is a very good football player. He's been to numerous Pro Bowls. He's been a successful player for a reason. But having players on this roster that Joe looks over and says, 'Oh boy, that's a real guy right there,' that's good for our franchise and good for our football team," Farmer said.    

The preparation for Farmer and his team will continue. They will run several mock drafts so they have a course for action no matter who is available at pick number four. And Farmer said the Browns will be involved in discussions about trades, to at the very least gage certain interest in players.

Regardless of who the Browns draft, the goal remains the same: winning more football games.

"Can we get the right guys for the Browns is what we are really focused on," said Farmer. "It's not a one-year reclamation project. It's not going to all be done when the draft ends. We like our team and we think we're well on our way to getting where we need to go, but as it stands right now, the more pieces you can add and the better those pieces are, the more excited we'll be as a team." 

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