Could the Cleveland Browns invest a first-round pick on a quarterback in two consecutive drafts -- and another quarterback from a hurry-up, shotgun offense at that? Nearly a year after the Browns took Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M with the No. 22 pick, the NFL Network "Path to the Draft" panel suggested the Browns making a move for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota this year might not be a stretch.
"When Chip Kelly said he'd been offered a first-round pick, it seems like that was the Cleveland Browns, for Sam Bradford," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "That tells me Cleveland is not happy with their current quarterback situation. To me, that makes them the team most in need of an upgrade at the position. That's why I would say they have the most need for someone like Marcus Mariota."
Manziel played poorly in a brief opportunity at the end of the regular season, and his future has been further clouded by an indefinite stay in a rehab facility. And while Mariota's off-field reputation is squeaky clean compared to Manziel's, both come from a college offense that doesn't resemble a pro-style attack in the least.
Cleveland holds the No. 12 overall pick, which could be too late to pick up Mariota, who is one of the draft's top two prospects at the position. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make FSU quarterback Jameis Winston the No. 1 overall pick, other clubs ahead of Cleveland who could be interested in a quarterback include the Tennessee Titans at No. 2 and the New York Jets at No. 6.
"They're going to draft a quarterback until they get it right," fellow analyst Brian Baldinger said. "They're still trying to replace Bernie Kosar 20 years later."
Added Charles Davis: "They've got to stop this quarterback train at some point and get a lot more hope out there."