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2020 NFL Draft

Browns Mailbag: What about Connor Cook?

Is this the closest thing to a dead period in an NFL offseason?

No, there's no such thing.

On with the questions!

If the Browns do take the best available at No. 2 (hopefully Bosa), does Connor Cook make sense as a second-round pick or should the Browns wait and draft someone else in Round 2? -- Aaron C., Spencerville

Cook, a Hinckley native, is an intriguing prospect who has been forced to answer a lot of uncomfortable questions throughout the draft process. He recently opened up on the storyline that has followed him for more than a year -- why he wasn't a team captain for Michigan State this past season -- in a column for

The following excerpt is enlightening:

"I understood why they wanted to know. It is a big deal. I gave them an answer that I feel is truthful: I just didn't get the votes. Being a captain is a title, but nobody needs a title to lead. Not being a captain never hindered my ability to lead, and it never made me doubt myself. It did, however, make me want to work harder and be the best quarterback I can be."

Cook, at 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds, has prototypical size, a good arm and a track record of success at a school that has consistently produced NFL-ready quarterbacks. He's a four-year starter and two-time MVP of the Big Ten Championship. He's played in big games, thrived in them and shown a pattern consistent of quarterbacks who are typically high draft picks. That's why many, despite the captaincy questions, peg him as a late first-round or Day 2 selection. His potential availability at No. 32 seemingly grew likelier after the Houston Texans, who hold the draft's No. 22 overall pick, signed Denver's Brock Osweiler.

If the Browns opt to take a non-quarterback at No. 2, Cook appears to be a player who will be around and could be considered a viable option. Whether that happens all depends on what Cleveland does with its first pick and how Cook is viewed in the eyes of the team's football operations department.

With the deep O-line draft, can the Browns shore up the defense via free agency? -- Dan T., Highlands, N.J.

The Browns did just that over the past two days when they signed Demario Davis, a run-stopping inside linebacker who never missed a game and carries a 48-start streak, and veteran safety Rahim Moore, a potential replacement for Tashaun Gipson. Last week, the Browns added another player who could provide depth at the position, Justin Tuggle, and there could still be more moves to make, as free agency goes well beyond the first few days.

That said, the Browns believe in building their roster through the draft and supplementing it in free agency. No matter what is done over the next week or two in free agency, the Browns will hit both sides of the ball hard with their 10 draft picks.

A look at Browns Senior Writer Andrew Gribble's top nine under-the-radar prospects. (All photos by AP Images)

Has any interest been shown for Jalin Marshall of Ohio State? - Michael H., Lima

Of the numerous Buckeyes who expect to be selected in next month's draft, Marshall has received minimal media attention because he projects as a late-round selection. ranks Marshall, who surprised many when he declared for the draft, as the 39th-best wide receiver and projects him as a seventh-rounder or free agent. He told reporters at the Combine he hopes his versatility as a running back or wide receiver can intrigue NFL teams.

I know this sounds crazy with all the positions Cleveland needs, but I would really try hard to get Reggie Ragland, but I know he will be gone. Cleveland gets killed year in, year out from the run game. This guy would help that big time. Kentrell Brothers or Dominique Alexander would probably do it also. -- Steve D., Tampa

You just rattled off the top three players at a position the Browns addressed with the signing of Davis but could very well add much more to through the draft. You're right about Ragland likely being gone by the time Cleveland kicks off the second round, but Brothers (Missouri) and Alexander (Oklahoma) likely will be available if the Browns want to address that position at that time. A player to keep an eye on is one I mentioned in yesterday's "9 under-the-radar players to know." Temple's Tyler Matakevich produced at a high level and won numerous national awards last season. He could be had on Day 3.

Now that Osweiler is in Houston, could you see Hue Jackson going back to Hoyer or are there already too many mix-and-match QBs to handle with McCown and Davis both on 3-year deals? -- Ian M., Orrville

Never say never on anything when it pertains to the NFL, but that kind of move would be surprising.

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