Browns general manager John Dorsey has gone to a dark and quiet place where he can tune out all the external hoopla leading up to next week's NFL Draft.
"I'm going to tell you all I go black in this time of year," he said Thursday. "For a month, I don't listen to radio, I don't watch TV and I don't pick up the newspaper. I think in scouting when you do that, you see the purity of information, you see the facts and you see the film without listening to the outside white noise. That's kind of why I always have done it."
Amid a potentially pivotal offseason for a team coming off its first winless season, Dorsey is taking that approach once again. In six days, Cleveland will hop on the clock with the first and fourth overall picks. When it's all over, the Browns could have potentially landed a franchise quarterback of the future and several other standouts who will continue to shape what's been a multi-year rebuild in Northeast Ohio.
None of that is lost on Dorsey, who was hired in December to lead the team's front office after four seasons in Kansas City. Since the start of the new league year last month, the Browns have added 13 players to the roster, including veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry and up-and-coming free safety Damarious Randall.
Now, Dorsey and Co.'s attention is trained on the draft, where Cleveland owns five picks in the first two rounds. Coupled with three first-round picks — Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku — in 2017, there's hope in Berea that brighter days lie ahead sooner than later.
"We all know that the Cleveland Browns fan base is as good as there is in the National Football League. I understand the passion of why they're so good," Dorsey said.
"I was reading a book somewhere where of the original 11 football teams in the National Football League, I was going through this and I found it fascinating that five of those 11 teams, they were all from cities in Ohio. That just shows you the importance of football within this community. All I can tell them is that it won't be from lack of hard work.
"We are going to do our due diligence in terms of bringing really good football players to awake the sleeping giant as we have said in the past," he continued. "We're going to awake this thing. That is how I look at it."
The draft is set to begin next Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.