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Urban Meyer: Browns 'fantastic' at pre-draft scouting


There are a few NFL teams that exhaust every effort when it comes to college scouting.

And in Urban Meyer's mind, one of them is the ... Cleveland Browns?

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"Not good, fantastic," Meyer told The Plain Dealer specifically about the Browns. "I really like their head coach. He's knee deep in it."

During Mike Pettine's first season, the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert in the first round, though they hit with the selection of Joel Bitonio in the second round and a few other prospects later on in the draft. Pierre Desir should grow into a fine cornerback. Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West should be able to anchor that backfield. (Crowell was an undrafted free agent.)

Perhaps it's just Meyer's duty to prop up the hometown team, but if he's telling the truth, if Pettine really is a tireless scout, then it makes us wonder if there might be pressure elsewhere in the organization to select certain players.

Gilbert was, without a doubt, chosen at the behest of a coach who runs a certain scheme and who needs a certain type of cornerback to run it. But Manziel?

If Pettine did more homework than the rest of the league, how could he have missed something that the eight other quarterback-needy teams ahead of him didn't?

That's why we're inclined to believe Meyer and Pettine for now. Manziel was the right organizational choice for a franchise looking to stir the pot. Probably not for a coach who actually does his homework and is hoping to stay in Cleveland for a while.

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