Browns Could Pursue Marcus Mariota
The Cleveland Browns don’t know if their 2015 starting quarterback is currently on their roster. Johnny Manziel was shaky as a rookie and is now in rehab, Brian Hoyer may not be back with the team and Connor Shaw is a replacement level talent, at best.
That has the Browns reportedly considering trading up to land Oregon product Marcus Mariota, who they are said to be extremely high on. The problem? They have to get in line.
It’s no secret the Browns don’t have a cemented quarterback situation. While extremely talented, even a Manziel with his mind right is still a toss-up. The troubled Texas A&M product was ill prepared as a rookie, both due to the speed of the game, as well as his lack of grasp of an NFL offense. Whether or not Manziel overcomes his issues off the field or not, he just might not be the answer under center in Cleveland. That’s something the Browns have to consider and prepare for.
Of course, even if Cleveland is hell bent on challenging Manziel or even flat-out replacing him, that doesn’t mean Mariota is the answer. First, Mariota could easily end up being a bust (many perceive him to be a system quarterback), while getting to him in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft could prove to be beyond difficult.
The Browns are far from the only teams interested in landing Mariota, as he sits as a top-two quarterback prospect, along with Florida State’s Jameis Winston. One of those passers is going #1 overall in this draft, and it’s entirely possible they go back-to-back, just like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III did a few years ago.
Getting up to the second overall pick or even just in the top-five would take a lot of ammunition. The Browns do have two first round draft choices to play with, but both the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been rumored to be interested in Mariota, as well. And those are just the named teams that have expressed interest.
With more teams likely to file in, the Browns will ultimately have to make a decision: do they trust in Manziel bouncing back and thriving or do they pull the plug and put all of their eggs in Mariota’s basket? Depending on which route they go, it could end up being the difference between another losing season or a return to the playoffs.
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