Cleveland Browns General Manager Tom Heckert held his pre-draft press conference on Thursday morning, and as expected, he revealed little details about the Browns plans in the first round. He said that the club is very comfortable, from a character standpoint, with all the players they're discussing at the top of the draft.
Most notably, he was asked if the front office was considering a quarterback with one of the Browns' top three picks, at Nos. 4, 22, and 37. "That's a big question mark," Heckert replied, and quickly tried to move on (he was asked about Colt McCoy several times, and gave the stock answer we've heard over past few months - "Colt looks great. We like him, we do. We think Colt can play.")
One quarterback the Browns could target with those top three picks is Ryan Tannehill. Heckert said the Texas A&M QB has not flown up any draft boards, and that's a misperception by the media. Tannehill's slot on the board did not move up or down because of a workout, and Heckert implied most teams were high on him before the media reported a "skyrocket." The limited time working under center in college is a challenge for evaluating Tannehill, and Heckert compared it to the small sample of film on Mark Sanchez when he came out of USC. The Browns' GM did say Tannehill has an advantage in that he already knows the Browns system, playing under former Packers coach Mike Sherman at A&M.
Another quarterback some project the Browns drafting is Brandon Weeden, of Oklahoma State. Heckert was asked about Weeden's age, and if it was a concern that he will be 29 years old as a rookie. He said it's certainly not something they have dismissed, and that "it's not a big deal, but it's there. You want all your draft picks to play ten years." Age is not as big a concern at quarterback as it would be at running back or cornerback, according to Heckert.
Whether it's a quarterback or another skill position player, the Browns will get two players at No. 4 and No. 22 that the front office has assigned first round grades. Heckert indicated the Browns have 18 prospects listed as first round talents, and that he is certain one will be available at No. 22. He said there are no ties at the top of the draft, and that they have each player distinctly rated as better or worse than the next and again alluded to the great risk in drafting for need as opposed to best available.