The Browns are conducting a private workout today with Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles, a league source confirmed this afternoon.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the Browns are not revealing their itinerary for private workouts leading up to the draft, which will run May 8-10.
Many draft analysts consider Bortles the top-rated quarterback and believe the Houston Texans could pick him No. 1 overall.
The Browns, of course, are also in the market for a quarterback. They’ll likely nab one with one of two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 26 overall) or with their choice early in the second round (No. 35 overall).
Last week during the NFL owners meetings, Browns coach Mike Pettine said the team would conduct private workouts with “a big list” of quarterbacks that includes the three top-rated players at the position – Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. Pettine also said the organization would host several quarterbacks on pre-draft visits to Berea.
The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Bortles has already made an impression on the Browns.
“He has all the measurables,” Pettine said last week. “If you look at him, if you said, ‘Draw me an NFL quarterback,’ that's probably who you'd draw. I think the thing that's impressive about him is his ability in crunch time in a lot of tight games, a lot of come-from-behind wins. You can see he's confident, can make all the throws. I think he's a better athlete than some people give him credit for.”
The Browns launched their tour of private workouts with quarterbacks by putting Fresno State’s Derek Carr through the paces Monday in California. Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning is scheduled to work out for Pettine and General Manager Ray Farmer on Saturday, NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt reported.
The Browns having a private workout with Bortles today explains why Pettine and Farmer were not spotted this morning at the pro day of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
A Browns spokesman said the team was represented at Clowney’s workout. The spokesman declined to reveal who attended the pro day on behalf of the franchise.