"If you want to win, you don't draft Manziel," the quarterback, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told cleveland.com. "You draft Bortles."
Cleveland has the No. 4 pick in May's draft, and conventional wisdom says the Browns will take a quarterback. But Houston, which picks first, and Jacksonville, which picks third, also are in the market for a quarterback.
Bortles fits the profile for an NFL quarterback, as he stands 6-foot-5. Manziel is 5-11¾, and he would be the first sub-6-0 quarterback to be taken in the first round since 1953.
"They come in all shapes and sizes," new Browns coach Mike Pettine said at the combine on Saturday. "We're looking for one that's going to maximize our ability to win. Even though the quarterback's a priority, we don't want to put ourselves in a position where the quarterback has to win the game. I think that's where some teams make mistakes."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.