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Eliot Wolf, Alonzo Highsmith, press conference - 4/27

Assistant General Manager Eliot Wolf & Vice President of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith:

On if OL Austin Corbett will play T or G:

*Highsmith: *“I see him as a good football player. He is very multifaceted. He can do a lot of things. There is no doubt that he could probably play center for you. I think one of the best things that you want to do is add good football players to your team. It is a great problem to have – a guy who can play a bunch of different positions.”

*Wolf: *“He went down to the Senior Bowl. He played left tackle at his school but when he went down to the Senior Bowl and played right tackle, center and both guards. We just see him as a really tough guy. The really cool thing about both of these guys is they are tough. They are self-made guys in different ways. Corbett came in as a 230-pound walk-on and ended up starting for four years in Nevada. (RB Nick) Chubb was a Parade All-American, five-star recruit, and he overcame a serious knee injury. We really feel in different ways like we added two big tough guys to our football team.”

On QB Baker Mayfield:

*Wolf: *“For me, I have a unique perspective because – well, for both of us – because we were scouting these quarterbacks while working for the Packers, and it became a lot more real when we took this job here. Baker was a guy who I had the opportunity to watch live last year in Texas. The thing that you could really see from him was his presence on the field. Pregame, he would walk by a group of Oklahoma players and there was just that instant energy that everyone had. Once the game starts, obviously, he has all of physical tools that you look for; a little bit shorter than everybody’s perfect idea quarterback but we did not really feel like that necessarily contributed to any negative play.”

On why the Browns chose Corbett over other OL prospects, given other players were rated higher by draft analysts:

*Highsmith: *“I will answer that. First of all, I do not know who those guys are who are ranking these guys *(laughter). *That does not matter to me. I am confident in my ability. I am confident in (General Manager) John Dorsey’s ability. I am confident in Eliot’s ability. I have confidence in what we do as a group in this organization. The only thing we are concerned about during the draft is getting the draft board right for the Cleveland Browns. We felt as though these guys were the best players where we ranked them. That is how we are going to roll with it. The funniest thing about the draft is it is all about nothing really because we do not know how any of these guys are going to be until two or three years. That is what the most important thing is. The thing that we have to find out, the most imperative thing is, are they football players? Are they real guys? Are they tough? Are they going to play the type of football players that we want to play? That is all that matters.”

*On RB Nick Chubb: *

*Wolf: *“He is super productive. I think he is second all-time in the SEC behind Herschel Walker in rushing yards. He is big. He has excellent feet for his size. He has good bursts. Powerful. Breaks tackles. Super balanced. Lonzo is the running back expert so he can add to that.”

*Highsmith: *“I have been a big fan of Chubb for a long time. One thing about SEC running backs is when you play running back in the SEC, you have to be able to create between the tackles with your feet. You have to be able to play a physical style of football. Nick Chubb exemplifies that in his running style. Not only is he a great football player, a tremendous person, a tremendous individual and a tremendous leader. He exemplifies what we are trying to build in Cleveland. We want real guys. We want guys that like football. Going back to Baker Mayfield, I had an opportunity to scout him at school as well. I was joking with him. I said, ‘You know what? You could have played with me back in Miami. You are my type of guy.’ I have been around great quarterbacks my whole life. I played with (Pro Football Hall of Fame QB) Warren Moon. I played with (Pro Football Hall of Fame QB) Troy Aikman. I have been around (former Packers QB) Brett Farve, (Packers QB) Aaron Rodgers, Warren Moon and (former NFL QB Vinny) Testaverde and (former Browns QB) Bernie Kosar. I was in the huddle with all of those guys. Well, not in the huddle with Brett Farve and those guys, but the guys before. There is something more than a big arm to be a quarterback. If it was just about a big arm, then everybody would be successful at the quarterback position. We throw out all of the traits it takes to be a quarterback when somebody does not measure up to somebody’s standards. I have always wondered when, it comes to being a great football player is whose standards are we judging them by? It is about playing the game. It is about being a good football player.”

*Wolf: *“It is about wins.”

*Highsmith: *“It is about wins. I thought Mayfield made all of those checks to me and he had the it factor to me.”

On if the Browns will have Corbett practice at both guard and tackle and determine where he fits best:

*Wolf: *“It is a little bit of that. We are going to work him at tackle and guard. That is up to the coaches where they see fit. We have some good versatility on the line there with we signed (OL) Chris Hubbard. He has played a bunch of positions for Pittsburgh. We have some options there.”

On if acquiring QBs with similarities like the size and style of play between QB Tyrod Taylor and Mayfield was by design:

*Wolf: *“Not really. We felt like we wanted to add a veteran quarterback and a rookie quarterback in this process. We felt like we added the bets available guys that we were able to at the time.”

On if they have any similarities:

*Wolf: *“To a certain extent. They are both very mobile. Tyrod is probably more of a runner. They both probably have tremendous work ethic, tremendous leadership so those both are definitely similar.”

On drafting DB Denzel Ward at No. 4 overall and not selecting DL Bradley Chubb:

Wolf: “In the draft every year, there are decisions you have to make. You can’t pick them all. We admire both of those players, and in the end, we picked the guy that we really wanted.”

On what style of RBs the Browns looked for at the combine:

Highsmith: “I have watched the AFC North for a long time, and I do know one thing: it is big, physical, between the tackles running-style football. You look at the backs that have come out of the AFC, they have all been big. (Former Ravens RB) Ray Rice was short, but he was a powerful runner. When you play in this type of weather, similar to Green Bay and that kind of stuff, you have to be able to run the football. The days of one guy carrying the ball 30 times in today’s football really does not happen really often. To have two backs that are quality, it is a great thing.”

On the value of OL Austin Corbett playing T, given the Browns’ investment in starting Gs:

Wolf: “Absolutely. You look at the contracts throughout the league, the tackles are the ones that are getting paid more and getting picked higher. If Austin is able to be the left tackle, it would be great.”

On standout factors of QB Baker Mayfield, compared to other QBs:

Wolf: “The thing for me when I was scouting him, I just thought he was the best guy. Obviously, the organization thought that, as well. He has tremendous anticipation. He has a great arm, a quick release. He can see the field. He is a winner. All of those things throughout the process combined together and led us to our decision.”

On if the player personnel staff is involved in the whiteboard testing with QBs or if it is solely the coaching staff:

Wolf: “No, that is just the coaching staff.”

On RB Nick Chubb coming back from a knee injury:

Highsmith: “That tells you a lot about the person and his commitment, his will and his want to succeed. In this game, football is the most brutal, physical game played. It takes certain types of people. It is not for everybody. It is a very demanding game. The shelf life of a running back is not very long sometimes. When you see a guy come back from what Nick Chubb came back from, his history and his résumé, you do not have to talk about it. It is there on paper for you. You can see it, and he overcame a knee injury. I have no questions on the guy. Just give him the ball.”

On former NFL backs as a type for Chubb:

*Highsmith: *“(Former Ravens and Browns RB) Jamal Lewis.”

On how Chubb is comparable to Lewis:

Highsmith: “Quick feet. Powerful lower body. Good balance. Good body control.”

Wolf: “Contact balance and square-ness when he is running in-between the tackles. Light on his feet. Much more nimble than he looks.”

On how the roster is developing thus far through free agency and the team’s first four draft picks:

Wolf: “The main thing is that we have improved. You set out to improve every single day. We feel like we have done that. Obviously, if we go out and do not win a game, then none of this means anything. Anyone can win in March or April. The key is getting these guys, the coaching staff and us, to get these guys together and go play together, believe in a common goal and go win some games.”

Highsmith: “You hate to say it – it is cliché – but it is a cultural change, bringing in the right people with the right attitude, the right commitment. I think that myself, Eliot, (General Manager) John Dorsey, every time that we walk through these doors it is about a commitment to get better. It is about making the Cleveland Browns better. It is about representing the city and bringing a proud franchise back to this city. It is going to take the right type of players, the (Jarvis) Landrys, the Corbetts, the Chubbs, the players that we have signed in free agency, (QB) Tyrod Taylor and all of these people. It is time to change. It is time to turn this thing around. We have got to bring in good football players.”

On Ward not being as big and only having two interceptions:

*Wolf: *“He has tons of ball production with pass breakups so that wasn’t a concern for us.”

*Highsmith: *“And he is really fast.”

Wolf: “Yeah, he is really fast. He has superb feet. He is on an island over there in man coverage. We just felt like also being a one-and-a-half year starter that he had a lot of upside, and he hasn’t played his best football yet.”

*Highsmith: *“One of the best corners that you watch in college who played true man on an island by himself. That is pretty impressive in today’s college football because you don’t see it a lot. Most guys are playing quarters, they are playing off and they are playing against all of these zone-read teams. It is kind of boring to watch – you don’t see them doing anything – but this guy lines up line and old-fashioned Los Angeles Raiders corner. ‘I have this man,’ and that is what he did.”

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