ITEM: Mayock advocates Tannehill at No. 4 for Browns
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock told Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer recently that Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is a franchise quarterback and the Browns "would be crazy not to draft him" with the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft.
"I think Cleveland has to take him at No. 4," said Mayock, who watched every one of Tannehill's throws last season and attended his pro day. "He's not ready to play Day One, but to me, he's a franchise quarterback, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him go at No. 4 and maybe even No. 3 [in a trade]."
Mayock said Tannehill would be an upgrade over Colt McCoy in both athletic ability and arm strength. "For me, at No. 4, if I'm Cleveland, I'm taking this kid Ryan Tannehill at No. 4, keeping in mind I've got a second (first-round) pick at No. 22, at which point I'm going to need to augment his weapons, because there's not a whole lot there at receiver or tailback for the Browns."
Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress and quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple attended Tannehill's pro day, while Shurmur and General Manager Tom Heckert attended Trent Richardson's pro day at Alabama. The Browns also have plans for private workouts with both players, and the team also will host both in Berea.
According to Cabot, the Browns also plan to bring in Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins for pre-draft visits.
Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com recently outlined a different option for Cleveland's first-round strategy.
"Here's the scenario: The Browns trade their No. 4 overall pick in the first round and move down four, five spots, acquire an extra second- or third-round pick and take Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd. Then they take a running back and offensive tackle and perhaps a quarterback before the third round is over.
"Floyd is the second-best receiver coming out. He's bigger than Justin Blackmon — 6-foot-3 as opposed to 6-1 — and reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's also from Notre Dame, which kind of/sort of gives him Irish ties, always a plus. The problem: Floyd had drinking issues in college.
"He was suspended indefinitely in March 2011 after being cited for driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.19, more than twice the Indiana limit of 0.08. It was his third alcohol-related run-in with the law since 2009. He was reinstated in August.
"There will be a lot of digging on Floyd by NFL teams who will want to be certain he is sincere and clean … If Floyd is OK mentally, he's a player … And the notion of the Browns having five picks in the first three rounds, with the first used on Floyd, is pretty appealing."
ITEM: Ravens host 4 DBs for pre-draft visits
Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reported that the Baltimore Ravens hosted four defensive back draft prospects on March 30. Those players included Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson, LSU cornerback Ron Brooks, Syracuse safety Philip Thomas and Pitt cornerback Buddy Jackson.
Robinson, who posted a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, was a first-team All-Conference USA selection in 2011 and had 10 interceptions and 36 passes defensed over his final three college seasons.
Brooks, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, ran a 4.37 at the combine. He played in every game over the past four years, intercepting two passes last season and returning both for touchdowns. His three career interceptions were all returned for touchdowns. Brooks was known for his versatility in college, and he played several positions for the Tigers. His father, Anthony Brooks, played for the Chicago Bears.
Thomas, 5-11, 198, ran a 4.74 at the combine and a 4.72 at his Pro Day. Thomas led Syracuse with six interceptions and 82 tackles as a junior, and he entered the draft rather than serve a year-long suspension for violating athletic department policy.
Jackson, 6-1, 187, with 4.37 speed, excelled on special teams. He averaged 23.6 yards and returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and had 34 tackles and recovered a fumble.
ITEM: Lewis says team has draft flexibility
"Our intent (during free agency) was to make sure we keep all our options open in the draft," Coach Marvin Lewis said from the NFL owners meetings. "We'll be able to pick fine players to help us whether it be on offense or defense."
Among the possibilities being floated for the Bengals' No. 1 pick, the 17th overall in the first round, are Stanford guard David DeCastro and Georgia guard/tackle Cordy Glenn. The Bengals also have a second No. 1 pick in this draft, the 21st overall.
Even though the Bengals never have drafted a guard in the first round, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said on a conference call that DeCastro is a special player among those at his position.
"He's as ready (to play in the league) as I've seen anyone else over the years when evaluating a guard," McShay said. "He's always under control where everything is in balance and is absolutely just nasty."
With one of the two first-round picks, Joe Reedy of Cincinnati.com wrote that cornerback is expected to be addressed. Recent mock drafts have linked South Carolina's Stephen Gilmore and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick to the Bengals.