Mariota says he never met with Browns leading up to draft
Remember all the hype around the Browns and their chances of moving up in the draft to select Marcus Mariota second overall? While there was plenty of smoke regarding the rumors, there ended up being no fire as the Browns stayed put and used their two first-round selections on Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving.
Judging from Mariota’s comments to NFL.com, there may have never been any interest from Cleveland in the first place.
"There was a lot of scenarios," said Mariota. "I never had any contact with the Browns. Um, so, yeah."
The fact that Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine didn’t sit down with Mariota is pretty telling. Franchises don’t normally draft franchise quarterbacks without meeting them in person. Then again, the Browns haven’t fared so well in the first-round quarterback drafting department since returning to Cleveland (see Tim Couch, Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel).
While the Browns did have Mariota’s draft tutor Kevin O’Connell lined up to be the team’s next quarterbacks coach, it would be hard to fathom the front office going solely on the word of someone who wasn’t even on their payroll yet. Perhaps they never planned on taking another quarterback early after all.