2014 NFL draft: Browns coach says owner Jimmy Haslam won't interfere with draft plans
With the 2014 NFL draft just over 24 hours away, teams are finalizing their draft strategies, and for some teams around the league, that could involve one final struggle between scouts and the team's brass in the draft room on the way to the first selection.
Some franchises are praised for allowing the football personnel to make the decisions that will impact the team on the field, while other organizations have a shakier track record of meddling. Facing growing fan unrest and coming off another offseason of front-office upheaval, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam appears to be willing to let his new staff make the important football moves in the coming days.
First-year head coach Mike Pettine maintained that Haslam won't meddle in the Browns' draft plans, according to NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala.
Could owner Jimmy Haslam intercede in Browns' selection process Thursday? Coach Mike Pettine said: "That would NEVER happen."
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) May 6, 2014
In light of the recent report from Fox Sports' Jay Glazer that the Browns will not consider Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel at No. 4 overall, it couldn't be more clear that Haslam is not influencing the team's draft strategy.
By allowing the coaching staff and scouts to do their work and pick the player that could best fit their team, the Browns are in position to address their greatest needs instead of aiming for headline-grabbing splashes with their top picks in the draft.
Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans appear to be the most likely options for the Browns at No. 4 overall, but with a second first-round pick at its disposal, Cleveland can get creative. MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | NFL draft needs: AFC | NFL draft needs: NFC