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2020 NFL Draft

Hue Jackson on drafting a QB: 'That guy has to be the face of the franchise'

Browns coach Hue Jackson and more than 100 other NFL personnel were in attendance at California quarterback Jared Goff's Pro Day on Friday.

And while Jackson — who is regarded for his work with quarterbacks and offenses — heaped praise on Goff, he was careful not to tip his hand in regards to whom Cleveland might draft in April.

"I know everybody wants us to say it's going to be a QB, and maybe it will be," Jackson said in an interview with the NFL Network, "but it also may not be."

After all, the Browns — who hold the second-overall and nine other picks — have made it clear that they'll select the best players available regardless of position.

"There's a lot of talented players out there," Jackson said at the league's annual scouting combine last month. "I think we're going to draft whoever we think is the best player at No. 2 for us. But at the same time, there are some tremendous players out there."

To be sure, Cleveland is still in the market for a franchise quarterback, be it with someone already on the roster, through the draft or via free agency.

"We're going to take every shot we can to find a franchise quarterback," Jackson said earlier this month in an interview with ESPN 850 WKNR at the Cleveland Auto Show. "My goal is to put a quarterback on this football team that our fans, that this city can be proud of and call their own because he'll be a guy that plays well week in and week out."

Goff, of course, could potentially be that player for the Browns. While at Cal, he was a three-year starter who helped turn around the Golden Bears under coach Sonny Dykes and threw for 4,714 yards and 43 touchdowns last season.

"He's a tremendous young man, had a tremendous career. (He) has poise, obviously accurate, can throw the ball with anybody, make all the throws," Jackson said, "but I think you guys all know it's more than that than just playing quarterback. That guy has to be the face of the franchise. So you kind of want to find out as much as you can and evaluate it all as you go through this process."

Jackson added: "There's never an exact science, you try to find out as much information as you can, you try to spend as much time as you can and talk to as many people as you can, and that at the end of the day it really comes down to your gut and what you feel inside about the person. I've been in this long enough to have an understanding of what those guys act like, look like and feel like and talk like, so you've got to trust yourself through this process."

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