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Ray Farmer: Browns could throw 'curveballs' at draft

We sit in the thick swelter of smokescreen season.

New Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer embraced the weather of the time when he was asked if it's safe to assume he will draft a quarterback at No. 4 overall.

"It could be safe, but we might not go that direction," Farmer said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, per the Akron Beacon Journal. "It may not be what everybody thinks it's going to be, so there's an opportunity for some curveballs."

At least Farmer is being fairly overt about guise.

The new GM did say he wants a quarterback, at some point in the draft, to compete with quarterback Brian Hoyer.

"I definitely believe in a lot of the traits that Brian Hoyer has demonstrated he has," Farmer said. "Nevertheless, competition is what drives this league. ... I think everybody would like to see a roster where we would like to say, hey, look, we have this really good player and we want to add another really good player behind him, so that that player feels like, 'Man, there's somebody else that could contribute or compete for my job.' I think Brian understands that, respects that. I think that's what he's looking for is the opportunity to compete to be the guy."

This particular smokescreen feels like an indicator that Farmer would like to trade back from the No. 4 pick -- as most top 10 teams want to trade back.

NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock ranked his pre-combine top-five quarterbacks in this order: Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and AJ McCarron.

At least two of these men will be on the board when it's Farmer's turn to pick, but if his guy is gone, Farmer doesn't sound like he'll force taking a quarterback. (Unless he does.)

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys speculate on big names who could be cut, then talk offseason forecasts for the Packers and Raiders.

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