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Notes from Cleveland Browns’ pre-draft press conference with GM John Dorsey

John Dorsey has his first pre-draft press conference as GM of the Browns, just one week before the 2018 NFL Draft.

On Thursday, just a one week before the start of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns held their annual pre-draft press conference, featuring general manager John Dorsey.

Here are the notes I took:

Still Vague as Ever on No. 1 Overall

The Browns have the first overall pick for the second year in a row. If they are staying locked in at No. 1 overall, they could announce who they intend to draft and it wouldn’t make a lick of a difference (although I’m sure the NFL would despite them for promotional reasons).

Instead of just saying “yes” when asked if the team has internally decided who they will select at No. 1 overall, Dorsey instead decide to talk about how he is a guy of “processes structure, systems — a creature of habit.” The closest he came to answering the question was saying that he was “very confident in where we are in the process.” He also noted they are touching base with the offensive and defensive staffs today and tomorrow to get their viewpoints.

What is John Dorsey’s “Draft Process?”

Someone actually asked a good follow-up question to Dorsey. He used a word like “process” with respect to the draft, so someone asked him to elaborate on just what the heck that means. While he didn’t want to give trade secrets away, here is the process he described (I am quoting this verbatim, but am structuring it as bullet points):

  • That starts early on in February. By that, I mean that the college scouts have a 17-day meeting. We sit as a group as an organization, and we begin to do that type of meeting.
  • Right before the combine, the coaches will get a list of players to begin to evaluate in the upcoming draft. They will begin their process of ranking their players, as well.
  • After the combine, there are workouts. You begin to analyze data and numbers. Then as a group, you begin to watch more film. Then the college scouts who have been on the road, they come back in here and you sit for about 10 days and you evaluate each position as a group again, and things may have changed over the course of the spring.
  • [Lastly], we come together as an organization, personnel, coaching and we sit there and begin to build and come to a consensus and kind of bring that together so I can hear everybody’s viewpoints and objectives.

There is No ‘Friend of Dorsey’

There was a report recently that said a ‘Friend of Dorsey’ indicated the Browns are interested in taking QB Josh Allen at No. 1 overall. Dorsey said that he “goes black in this time of the year.” For a month, he doesn’t listen to radio, watch TV, or read the newspaper. He just relies on the pureness of the scouting they’ve done, and ignoring those other things prevents noise from impacting that purity when making decisions.

Most Important Attribute to be the Browns’ QB

It’s not all about their skill or potential. Per Dorsey, this is the most important attribute when considering who the Browns will draft at the QB position: “What you have to understand first is the offensive package that the Cleveland Browns are trying to get. Then you have to see, can he fit into those packages? Then, does he have certain physical skillsets that you know will succeed in moving this franchise forward? That is kind of what I look for.”

Browns’ Current QB & WR Room

Here is what Dorsey said about the additions of QB Tyrod Taylor and QB Drew Stanton:

“With (QB) Tyrod (Taylor), you get experience. You get a guy who understands how to get to the payoffs. You get a guy who understands how to extend a play. With (QB) Drew (Stanton), I have always thought that the second quarterback is the guy who has got a little bit of veteran presence with him. He is going to help. That No. 2 guy is invaluable to the starter when they start game planning on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for a game. Also, if in fact we have to go the young guy route, he will be that bridge to kind of teach him how to be a professional because there is only one way that a young man is going to learn how to be professional in this game, and that is by true professionals. That is kind of why you do this thing.”

And here is what he said about the team’s current wide receivers:

“Sitting there, with (WR) Josh (Gordon), we all know what his abilities are. With (WR) Jarvis Landry, he knows what he brings to the team. Where (WR) Corey (Coleman) is in the process, you would expect him to make big strides in Year 3. I’m excited to see the new (WR) Jeff Janis and see what he does from a vertical perspective if he can get geared into this offensive system. Then you have to let the other young guys fight out for their roster spot. Who’s to say? We may get a receiver or two in this draft.”

Not Bringing Every Top Player in for a Visit

Dorsey was asked why the Browns did not bring in RB Saquon Barkley, DE Bradley Chubb, or CB Minkah Fitzpatrick in for visits. Dorsey said he talked to each one at the Combine, and they are all awesome kids and the team already knows who they are as people. Because of that, “Why would I waste a 30-player visit on them? If there are [other] guys you have questions about, why not bring those guys in here [instead]?”