Cleveland Browns still thinking quarterback in draft?


Earlier this week, we pinned the Cleveland Browns as one of the teams destined to pick a quarterback in May's draft.

With a pair of first-round picks, the Browns have the firepower to wheel and deal for a signal-caller of their choice. But will they?

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Brandon Weeden has melted away, but the handiwork of Brian Hoyer -- before his season-ending knee injury -- brought life to Cleveland's offense. Of late, the team has received strong play from Jason Campbell, too, giving team CEO Joe Banner plenty to ponder in the offseason.

"I think we're going to have to get to the end of the season and see exactly where we are," Banner said, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. "Our commitment to the draft is to try and pick (up) the best players we can as opposed to trying to force anything at any positions. So I think we've got a lot left to learn as the season goes on in terms of finding what we want to do and where the strengths of the draft are."

Banner wouldn't comment on Weeden's fate, and he doesn't need to. The front office inherited him, and the 30-year-old passer has played himself right out of the job. In the meantime, Cleveland has scattered scouts nationwide to analyze a draft class that's considered one of the deepest in years.

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Fresno State's Derek Carr, Alabama's AJ McCarron and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel have been the subject of scouting voyages, according to the newspaper.

With a stingy defense and legitimate weapons in pass-catchers Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, Cleveland still is alive in the AFC North. Cleveland can be viewed as a team that's essentially a quarterback away from contention. It's not Weeden. It's probably not Campbell. It might be Hoyer -- but we still see the Browns as heavy favorites to draft their passer of the future.

"We're going to be very, very prepared when we get to April and May," Banner said. "We're going to be very, very prepared."

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