Browns general manager Ray Farmer is apparently making good on his assurances that pro days aren't necessarily mandatory stops, even at the expense of a chance to see elite prospects like Johnny Manziel. Farmer emphasized the value of a private workout over a pro day last month in announcing that he would not attend Manziel's March 27 pro-day performance at Texas A&M.
Now comes word that the Browns will hold a private workout with Manziel this weekend in College Station, confirmed via Twitter by NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt. Manziel will take an official visit to the Browns next week, according to Brandt.
The Browns are in need of a quarterback and hold the No. 4 overall pick, which will be plenty high enough to acquire one of the draft's top passers, but not necessarily Manziel. With the draft a little more than three weeks away, clubs are busy finalizing evaluations and Manziel's workout for Cleveland figures to go a long way toward closing the club's scouting report on the former Aggies star and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. The Minnesota Vikings, slated to pick eighth and also in need of a quarterback, have seen plenty of Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater in recent days.
Manziel, Bridgewater, UCF's Blake Bortles and Fresno State's Derek Carr figure to be the top four quarterbacks drafted, but in what order and to which clubs are much tougher questions. The Houston Texans could peel the cream of the quarterback crop right off the top of the draft with the No. 1 pick. Or a number of quarterback-needy clubs, including the Browns, could choose to wait until later in the draft to invest in a rookie passer.
If Manziel isn't in Houston's plans, or Jacksonville's with the No. 3 overall pick, his workout with the Browns could help him secure a draft-day call at No. 4.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.