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Hue Jackson outlines the traits Browns want from young QBs

The way Hue Jackson and the Browns will evaluate the quarterbacks in this year's draft class hasn't changed. But the context of how they'll approach such a dynamic is different than it was a year ago.

"I don't know that the process will change," Jackson told reporters last week at the Senior Bowl, "(but) how I see it is different because I know our team better. I know what's on our football team. I better know how to play off of that to know what's best for us."

After a 1-15 season that watched injuries to Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Cody Kessler further instability at the position, it's unclear where the Browns go from here.

But both Jackson and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said Cleveland has yet to establish "the guy" at quarterback and will survey all options this offseason when it comes to addressing the situation.

"Until you can do that do I think we can make the next jump," Jackson said. "So I think that's what we're trying to do. It's going to be a great offseason. We have free agency, we have the draft coming. There's gonna be a lot of opportunity for us to evaluate and make good decisions about what to do for our football team."

This past week down in Mobile, Alabama, Jackson and Co. got to work with some of the nation's top players, including a handful of quarterbacks on the South roster in Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs, California's Davis Webb and Tiffin's Antonio Pipkin, all of whom are projected to be late-round draft picks.

The Browns, owners of the first and 12th overall picks and five of the top 65 selections, are positioned to scoop up one of this year's top signal-callers -- be it North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky, Clemson's Deshaun Watson or Notre Dame's Deshone Kizer -- if they choose that path toward addressing the quarterback position. Asked if this year's draft class could bear a solution at the position, Jackson said he didn't want "to get pigeonholed into just one way."

"I think there's a lot of different ways it could come as we continue to move forward," he said. "Again, it's about the evaluation, it's about the right profile, it's about what we're looking for, it's about how that position needs to play."

And regardless of the path, Jackson said the Browns haven't lost sight in the traits they desire in their signal-callers.

"I still think at the end of the day, the guy needs to be able to process football and arm talent," he said. "I think that's really important, especially in our division, and everything in my mind goes through our division because we play in a lot of different elements and we think we have one of the better divisions in football.

"You can't stand in there in the snow and the elements and throw the ball and it's tough if you can't process information because the defenses are so good — Pittsburgh and Baltimore and Cincinnati — it's hard to play. Those are things that are non-negotiable for me."

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