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2013 NFL Draft: S Johnathan Cyprien visiting Browns today, QB EJ Manuel set to meet with team Monday

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 12, 2013

Florida International University safety Johnathan Cyprien has a pre-draft visit with the Browns today, a league source told the Beacon Journal.

Cyprien used Twitter last night to hint he would visit the team.

“Bye bye Tennessee, Hello Cleveland!” he wrote.

The Browns need a free safety to start opposite strong safety T.J. Ward. Some draft analysts project Cyprien as a strong safety in the NFL, the same position he played in college, but NFL Network's Mike Mayock is an exception. During a conference call in February, Mayock said he believes Cyprien would be better suited as a free safety at the next level.

NFLDraftScout.com projects Cyprien as a second-round pick. The Browns don’t have a second-round selection this year, so Cyprien might only become a realistic option for them if they trade down from the sixth overall pick.

Pro Football Weekly’s draft guide describes Cyprien as an “athletic, physical strong safety who can seek and destroy in the box and function in halves, quarters or thirds coverage. Has immediate special-teams value and should step into a starting role sooner than later. Showed improvement as a senior but instincts and football intelligence must continue to improve.”

The 6-foot, 217-pound Cyprien started every game at strong safety the past three seasons. As a senior, he tallied 93 tackles, five pass breakups, four interceptions and a forced fumble.

The vertical jump was the lone event in which Cyprien participated at the NFL Scouting Combine in February because of hamstring and pectoral injuries. However, he worked out at Florida International’s pro day last month, posting times of 4.65 and 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash and bench pressing 225 pounds 18 times, according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.

Another safety visit

Florida free safety Josh Evans visited the Browns on Monday, league sources confirmed.

Evans mentioned on Twitter earlier this week that he was heading to Cleveland for a “business trip.”

Evans is on the radars of several teams as a third- or fourth-round pick, according to NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler.

The 6-1, 207-pound Evans didn’t become a full-time starter at free safety until his senior season. In 2012, he compiled a team-high 83 tackles, including 4½ for loss and 2½ sacks, to go along with three interceptions.

Change of plans

Florida State University quarterback EJ Manuel will travel to Cleveland on Sunday and have a pre-draft visit with the Browns that night and on Monday, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal.

The Browns were scheduled to conduct a private workout with Manuel on April 5 in Tallahassee, Fla., but it was canceled because the team had a scheduling conflict, the source said. The workout might still be held sometime next week in Tallahassee, but those plans are tentative.

NFLDraftScout.com projects Manuel as a second-round pick.

The 6-5, 237-pound Manuel went 25-6 as a starter in college and threw 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this past season. With his exceptional size, speed and athletic ability, Manuel can run the read-option offense, which Browns coach Rob Chudzinski used the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.

Manuel rushed for 310 yards and four touchdowns last season. He also ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds at the combine, finishing second among quarterbacks.

West Virginia’s Geno Smith, the top-rated quarterback in this year’s class, ran the 40 in 4.59 seconds at the combine. The Browns are scheduled to conduct a private workout with Smith on Saturday.

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