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Report: Blake Bortles works out for QB-needy Cleveland Browns


UCF quarterback Blake Bortles worked out for the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.

Cleveland owns two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 26) as well as the overall No. 35 pick, which comes early in the second round. first reported about the workout and that GM Ray Farmer, head coach Mike Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains were in atttendance.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr worked out for the Browns on Monday. Carr is not worth the No. 4 pick but could be in play later in the first round. Bortles, if available, would be worthy of the No. 4 pick.

Pettine has said the Browns could take two quarterbacks in the draft. But it's hard (actually, it's impossible) to see a scenario that would have them taking Bortles and Carr.

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel are two other quarterbacks who could be in play with the No. 4 pick. There also is the possibility that some analysts are right and Bridgewater slides way down in the first round, perhaps to 26th.

Shanahan has held the offensive coordinator role with Houston and Washington. He has overseen offenses run by a dropback passer (with the Texans and Redskins) and with a mobile quarterback who is proficient in the zone read (the Redskins). Thus, Bortles, a prototype pocket passer, would fit in a Shanahan scheme.

Then again, so would Bridgewater and Manziel, both of whom are expected to work out for the Browns soon. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Wednesday afternoon that the Browns also would hold workouts this week with Bridgewater, Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo, Pitt's Tom Savage and Ball State's Keith Wenning, and that Manziel would work out for the team in the next two to three weeks. Savage and Wenning are likely late-round selections, while Garoppolo could go late on the second day or early on the third.

Cleveland has numerous needs on offense, though left tackle is not one of them. That would mean a quarterback or Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins would be enticing at No. 4. Pairing Watkins with Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron would give the Browns three exciting playmakers in the passing game. But do the Browns trust quarterback Brian Hoyer -- who has 18 games of NFL experience -- to get those guys the ball?

Defensively, a pass rusher such as Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack is needed, as is a corner to play opposite Joe Haden. But no way does Cleveland take a corner with the No. 4 pick.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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