The new Browns GM has a QB in mind, but is it Johnny Manziel?

Finding a quarterback remains a top priority for new Browns GM Ray Farmer. But will it be Johnny Manziel?


Tony Dejak/AP

Johnny Manziel thinks he has what it takes to win Cleveland a Super Bowl.

But that’s probably not going to happen. Not because the Browns are destined to continue on their recent path of futility, but because Johnny Football likely won’t get the chance.

Prior to last week’s front office upheaval, it was well-known that the Browns were "very high" on Manziel, and team officials saw him as the savior to their quarterback conundrum.

That was before Ray Farmer took over as Cleveland’s new general manager.

While he didn’t exactly rule him out, it’s looking less and less like Manziel is Farmer’s guy.

Manziel is projected to go as high as No. 1 overall in this year’s draft, meaning the Browns would have to cash in some of their hoarded draft picks and find a willing partner to allow them to trade up to nab Johnny Football. But in an interview with, Farmer indicates he doesn’t even like the idea of drafting a quarterback with their No. 4 overall pick.

"I’d say that No. 4 is not necessarily where I would take the guy that I like. Again, it may not be the name that everybody thinks is the latest, greatest, and the easy one to spot. There’s definitely an art to selecting people in the draft and it’s finding the right name that fits who you want to be."

Farmer emphasized the importance of hitting on the right picks, versus drafting players at positions of need.


It’s no secret the Browns need a quarterback and Farmer has said it remains a priority. But maybe he has his sights set on a guy that will be available in second or third rounds. After all, they do have 10 draft picks, including five in the first three rounds and two of the top 26 picks overall.

So if he had to choose a quarterback today, does Farmer indeed have, "a guy"?

"Yes, I do," Farmer said. "I’ve studied the quarterbacks and I’ve studied other players, and I’ve already started to formulate the rank and order of each position. I do know what I’d do if I was held down at the moment. It doesn’t mean that can’t change, but I currently have somebody in front."

Of course Farmer wouldn’t tip his hand as to which quarterback he’s got his eye on, but he said not even his scouts and coaches know which direction he’s leaning.

"I haven’t revealed to many people who that person is that I may like. I think it’s an interesting debate. If I were to say ‘I like player A’ I don’t know if it poisons the pool. I’ll let everybody else have the conversations before I comment. They might say ‘I like player A too’ instead of giving honest feedback."

As for Manziel, Farmer called him "a good football player" and said he’s exciting to watch. When asked about Manziel’s character issues, Farmer referred to them as "blemishes" and said they’re only one part of his full, comprehensive report.

"Who is the guy as a football player? What’s his football knowledge? What are his work habits? What’s his ability or demeanor to want to eat the tape and work on it and grind on it? What’s his level of intelligence? Everybody won’t have the same boxes checked.

There will be some blemishes on each of them. It depends on how bad those blemishes are."

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