Cleveland Browns general manager stays vague on NFL Draft plans


Ray Farmer speaks to the media on April 23, 2015.

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BEREA, Ohio –One week away from the 2015 NFL Draft, Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer isn’t ruling anything or anybody out. He’s also not giving any indication of the team’s priorities on draft day.

On Thursday, Farmer addressed the media for the first time since the NFL handed down his four game suspension for texting violations.

“I messed up” Farmer acknowledged.  “I accept my punishment”

The suspension begins at the start of the regular season, leaving Farmer able to participate in next week’s draft.

But at his news conference Farmer predictably said that no NFL team, even this close to the draft, can say for sure what they intend to do.

The Browns have 10 picks in the three day draft that starts on April 30.  That includes the 12th and 19th pick. That includes six of the first 115 picks, the most of any NFL team. They are one of two teams with two first round picks.

Without addressing questions about specific players, Farmer said the team will be looking for the best players available: adaptable athletes, including defensive linemen.

The Browns general manager was repeatedly asked if he would be interested in trading up to try and get Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. He answered with the same response given by head coach Mike Pettine on Tuesday, “Sure. Why not?”

Among the players the Browns may also have an interest in is Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley. Farmer also said the recent acquisition of receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe would not prevent them from considering taking a receiver in the draft.

“I’d go up if it’s the right circumstance. I’d go back if it is the right circumstance,” Farmer said.

The GM briefly addressed quarterback Johnny Manziel, who recently left rehab. Farmer said Manziel’s statement would have no impact on any decisions the team makes on draft day.

When asked if he feels comfortable that the team’s starting quarterback is currently on the roster, Farmer answered “Maybe, maybe not.” Farmer used examples of other quarterbacks, including Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, as players who have flourished after having spent time on the bench behind other starters.

The Browns GM also said too many people expect a player to make an immediate impact.

Comparing his thoughts on player development to slow brewing a pot of coffee, Farmer said he would rather bring a player along slowly and watch them develop.

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