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Why the Browns won't make too much of singular data points at the Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — Much will be made in the coming days about hand size, 40-yard dash times and other singular data points here at the NFL's annual scouting combine.

Take Thursday morning, for example, when North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky — who's considered to be one of the top players in this year's class — was measured at 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds.

The dynamic quickly became a line of questioning when Browns head coach Hue Jackson met with reporters shortly after. "That's great," he said, laughing. "I like a quarterback that's a little bit taller."  

Trubisky isn't the first prospect (remember then-Cal and Rams quarterback Jared Goff?) to be dissected as such, and he won't be the last. But trust much of the time in Indianapolis is a piece to the puzzle when it comes to identifying, evaluating and adding talent to Cleveland's roster. The same goes for the league's 31 other teams.

"I think most teams have kind of a rough sense of what their draft board looks like," executive vice president of football operation Sashi Brown said Wednesday. "Now we need to understand the person they are."

That's something the Browns will zero in on in the coming days. They'll also remember that the draft process is a holistic one that essentially began a year ago. So while physical traits such as height, weight and shuttle times matter, they're more or less supplemental information to the bigger picture.

"At the end of the day, it's the tape, it's the on-field performance that carries the most weight," said vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry. "The biggest portion of the evaluation is the tape and the on-field portion. But over the course of the spring, as we get more information, we'll certainly tweak and modify our evaluations as appropriate."

That's where the combine comes into play.

"You just get a chance to know the character of some of these players a little bit more. The film should kind of steady you in terms of the evaluation of the talent, which is the core of what we're trying to value," Brown said.

"The character piece of it matters, too. We do try from a process standpoint -- I think Andrew, (director of college scouting) Bobby Vega, (vice president of player personnel) Ken Kovash -- do a good job of getting our process in a place where we're not too swayed by vertical jump or broad jump or what have you while you're at the Combine.

"It's just a piece of the puzzle, and the Browns say they will evaluate it appropriately.

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