may not let Johnny Manziel (left) slip out of the top five in this week's NFL draft. (Gerald Herbert/AP)
The Cleveland Browns have toyed with the idea of drafting a quarterback in the first round for a few months now. One day the organization suggests it's looking at selecting a signal-caller with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft; other days rumors surface that Cleveland would prefer not to use its early first-round selection on a quarterback.
As the smokescreens continue to blur truth and rumor, ESPN's Chris Mortensen (via Adam Schefter) says he expects the Browns to draft a quarterback with the No. 4 pick, with that targeted quarterback being none other than Johnny Manziel.
MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | NFL draft needs: AFC | NFL draft needs: NFC
Cleveland seemed to show heavy interest in Manziel in the aftermath of the combine before cooling on him and other high-ranking quarterbacks. The Browns began to suggest they'd look elsewhere for their top pick and possibly use their second first-round selection (No. 26 overall) on a quarterback instead.
But for a franchise in desperate need of a quarterback, not using the pick on the position early seemed to be almost too predictable as a misdirection tactic.
In addition to the Browns, buzz has been circulating suggesting that the St. Louis Rams, who hold the No. 2 pick, are showing significant interest in Manziel, while the Oakland Raiders are expected to pass on Manziel if he is available when their No. 5 pick rolls around.
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