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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Live Blog (Day 1) - Rumors, Picks, and More

Al Bello

The 2014 NFL Draft officially begins for the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the teams in the NFL tonight at 8:00 PM ET. We've been busy the past few days preparing for our draft coverage and speculating about which players the Browns might be interested in drafting. The mock drafts that are staff complete for the first round can be found here. We also did Cleveland Browns Big Boards, ranking the top 40 players we'd like to see our team draft.

We will have all of your Browns-related coverage on the draft here at Dawgs By Nature throughout the weekend. There will be individual posts about each draft pick that Cleveland makes, or any other significant news. This thread will act as a "live blog" of sorts, with short one-liners about the latest small rumors, picks, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your NFL Draft open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)

Browns NFL Draft Live Blog

[NOTE: There is a new live blog / open thread available here for the first round]

6:35 PM: Blake Bortles likes his chances as well.

6:25 PM: How much stock do we put into attire? Maybe Watkins' tie offers us a tiny clue into his mindset this evening:

6:00 PM: Here are the final results from the DBN Community All-Round Browns Mock Draft:

5:00 PM: Perhaps not wanting to pony up the ludicrously high asking price of the No. 1 overall pick, the Falcons could now be in play to move up to the Browns pick at No. 4, hoping to land Khalil Mack.

4:50 PM: In other potential QB trade news, Jason La Canfora is reporting that another name has been linked to the Browns once again, none other than Redskins backup Kirk Cousins.

4:30 PM: The first trade of the day may happen soon. Tom E. Curran of CSN New England is reporting that the Patriots could have a deal in the works to send Ryan Mallet to the Texans, according to a source.

Well, not so fast:

4:20 PM: The infamous white board has been updated for the draft with a couple surprises:

3:55 PM: Could the Browns be looking into moving back up into the first round after their pick at No. 4?

2:45 PM: ESPN's NFL Insider Adam Schefter is reporting that the Houston Texans are now set with their pick at No. 1 overall and will not be trading down. Remember, a couple of days ago, both ESPN and NFL Network reporters committed to not revealing the picks until after they are called during the draft.

2:06 PM: We're just six hours away from the draft! Nothing new to report over the last half hour. Call it the calm before the storm. Here is one little nugget for those starving for some information, though:

1:30 PM: It's been a pretty dull afternoon so far, all things considered. There seem to be less rumors than there were last year at this time; expect things to pick up soon as we get closer. A quick note: DBN's Jon Stinchcomb will be taking over the live blog from around 3 PM to 7 PM, and then I will return after that.

12:43 PM: What if the Browns are setting up Draft Day II? By blatant, I assume that Silva is indicating that the team is purposefully trying to make teams think they want QB Teddy Bridgewater, when in reality, they have their eye on somebody else.

12:32 PM: WEWS's Mike Cairns is at the draft in New York City, and he keeps hearing the Browns in association with a lot of trade rumors:

12:28 PM: Let's assume that the Browns stay at No. 4 overall later today. If you reference all of our DBN staff big boards, then the only acceptable players would be DE Jadeveon Clowney, QB Johnny Manziel, OT Greg Robinson, WR Sammy Watkins, OLB Khalil Mack, QB Teddy Bridgewater. The only other name that could potentially surface at No. 4 overall is WR Mike Evans. Anybody else would have fans doing a double take for awhile.

12:20 PM: This is moderately interesting: a report says that the draft stock for WR Odell Beckham Jr. could be as high as No. 9 overall to the Buffalo Bills, if the board plays out a certain way. The report also suggests that if the Bills land a top receiver in the draft, they could look to quickly turn around and trade WR Stevie Johnson for draft picks. Johnson played on offense, but Mike Pettine was on the Bills' staff last season.

11:58 AM: If you here a collective round of boos at No. 4 overall if/when the Browns do not draft QB Johnny Manziel, then it's probably these guys:

11:52 AM: Several of our staff members submitted changes to their mock drafts this morning. Here are the latest renditions (asterisks denote changes).

11:24 AM: WWE-style:

11:18 AM: Do you want a reminder of just how absurd draft-day rumors can get? Last year, Pro Football Talk noted that there was speculation that the Browns wanted to trade up from No. 6 overall to No. 3 overall so that they could draft QB Geno Smith ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Smith ended up being drafted at No. 39 overall in the second round. Yep.

11:16 AM: Let's say that we want to keep the QB Johnny Manziel dreams alive for Cleveland. We've been hearing off-and-on speculation that the Dallas Cowboys could be itching to get Manziel at No. 16 overall, including this tweet today from Mike Freeman of CBS Sports:

Earlier, ESPN's Adam Schefter said the Browns are one of the team's considering a trade up from No. 26 overall. Here are the teams Schefter noted who would like to trade back:

The Raiders and Buccaneers are too high. The Titans would be the team to reach in front of Dallas at No. 11 overall. The Ravens and Dolphins are just behind the Cowboys. Of course, those could be the more likely deals (particularly with Miami) if Manziel isn't the intended target.

11:05 AM: Our friend Dane Brugler of CBS Sports published his final mock draft. Following in ESPN's footsteps, he also has the Browns going with Watkins-Manziel in the first round. In the second round, he has Cleveland taking CB Phillip Gaines.

10:56 AM: And here we go with the trade rumors: ESPN's Adam Schefter, another one of the more reliable reporters in the business, says that the Browns are one of the teams looking to trade up in the first round (from No. 26). Could it be to make a play at...Johnny Manziel at some point?

10:34 AM: If you recall, last year, there was a lot of rumors surrounding a Ryan Mallet-to-Cleveland trade. No such thing has surfaced with Mallet this year, but a couple people have tried to drum up the Kirk Cousins rumors. Thankfully, no one is buying Bill Polian's suggestion that Cleveland deal a first-round pick for Cousins:

10:20 AM: Historically, SB Nation's Dan Kadar and ESPN's Mel Kiper have been the Top 5 mock drafters in the business. Here is who each of them, along with ESPN's Todd McShay, have Cleveland taking in the first round in their final mock drafts:

  • Dan Kadar: WR Mike Evans (No. 4) & QB Teddy Bridgewater (No. 26)
  • Mel Kiper: WR Sammy Watkins (No. 4) & QB Teddy Bridgewater (No. 26)
  • Todd McShay: WR Sammy Watkins (No. 4) & QB Teddy Bridgewater (No. 26)

Tthe Jay Glazer tweet clearly backed everybody away from saying QB Johnny Manziel at No. 4. Here is what Kiper said about the Browns' picks:

No. 4: There's been plenty of debate over the last week about whether this could be Johnny Manziel's landing spot, but I think Browns general manager Ray Farmer will settle on the assurance of a young, experienced (even though he's still just 20) difference-making talent at this slot. Watkins gives the Browns a viable No. 2 next to Josh Gordon, and a player that ultimately could be a star No. 1 wideout. If you get a QB later on -- keep an eye on No. 26 -- he's in a better position to succeed with Watkins as a target. A sleeper here could be Jake Matthews, a safe pick, but probably not one the fan base will be thrilled about.

No. 26: The Browns didn't take a QB at No. 4, but with Bridgewater on the board, I don't think they'll wait around and assume they still get a guy they think has the chance to start early further down the draft board. What Bridgewater lacks in arm strength, size, and escapability, he gives you back in anticipation, accuracy, smarts and work ethic. I really don't think there's a more consistently accurate QB available in this draft, and you have to feel better about his chances if you have Watkins, Gordon and Jordan Cameron as the weapons.

10:05 AM: Dear God, don't remind us (well...Tom Heckert wasn't too bad, until we realized his Richardson-Weeden pairing didn't work out):

10:02 AM: In case you missed it last night, Browns RB Ben Tate polled fans on who they thought the Browns would take with their first three picks. When somebody suggested RB Carlos Hyde at No. 35, Tate rightfully questioned the move:

Those first three picks should either be used on a quarterback, or a player who would be expected to start this year. Hyde would just be sitting on the bench, and lower-round running backs have done well in zone blocking systems.

10:00 AM: Let's start off with some quick primer news for tonight. The first round of the draft takes place THURSDAY, MAY 8 at 8:00 PM EST. The Browns have 2 picks -- No. 4 overall and No. 26 overall, which could change if a trade is made. Regardless of whether the Browns are involved in a trade, I think it's a sure bet that Cleveland will have made at least two draft picks (possibly three) by the end of Day 1.