The team reportedly was "prepared to move heaven and earth" for the rookie passer of its choice, but NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah says we've been focused on the wrong guy all along.
"The one thing about the combine is, you get there, you're around all your contacts, a lot of different NFL people," Jeremiah told "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday. "And it had been so out there that the Browns loved Manziel under the previous regime, and I talked to enough people that firmly believe that that was a total smokescreen."
Said Jeremiah: "Their guy is (Fresno State quarterback) Derek Carr and they're going to take a different player with the fourth pick and they want to take Derek Carr with their second one (at No. 26). ... I heard that from several different places."
On paper, a more manageable plan with the Jaguars sitting at No. 3, one spot ahead of Cleveland. "I think Jacksonville is the first place I look," Jeremiah said of a Manziel landing spot.
Both Jeremiah and NFL Media's Mike Mayock rank Carr fourth among quarterback prospects behind Teddy Bridgewater, Manziel and Blake Bortles. Carr, of course, has plenty of work to do to equal Manziel's charming words for Browns fans.
"I'm going to pour my heart out for the Dawg Pound and try to win a Super Bowl for Cleveland," Manziel said before the combine. "I don't care if they've had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999. I'm going to be the 21st and the guy that brought them the Super Bowl."
Sounds like a plan, except -- from where we stand today -- the Browns plan to make someone else the 21st guy.