Updated at 2:30 p.m.
The Browns missed a hell of a show when they skipped Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's pro day last week, but they were in attendance today for another impressive and notable workout.
A Browns spokesman told the team's radio show, Cleveland Browns Daily, that the franchise was represented this morning at the pro day of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. In a subsequent conversation with the Beacon Journal, the spokesman declined to disclose who attended the workout on behalf of the Browns.
The spokesman was correcting NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. Reporting from the pro day in Columbia, S.C., Mayock said on the air that the Browns were not in attendance.
The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Clowney is widely projected to become a top-five pick May 8. The Browns have the fourth overall selection.
Clowney did not run the 40-yard dash today after posting an official time of 4.53 seconds during the NFL Scouting Combine in February. However, he impressed while going through a series of position drills.
“I don’t know if the day could’ve gone much better for Clowney,” said NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles. … “Overall, I thought it was a phenomenal day.”
Added Mayock: "I fully believe that Clowney is the most talented player in this draft and last draft and next year's draft. I mean he's got special, special talent."
The Browns have had limited or no presence at several notable pro days because Pettine and General Manager Ray Farmer want to keep everyone guessing and because they value private workouts much more than pro day workouts.
The Browns were one of just two teams that did not send a representative to Manziel’s pro day March 27. Farmer reportedly attended the pro days of the other top-rated quarterbacks, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, but Pettine and his assistant coaches did not.
Pettine, though, pointed out last week during the NFL owners meetings that the Browns would conduct private workouts with “a big list” of quarterbacks that includes Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater. Pettine also said the organization would host several quarterbacks on pre-draft visits to Berea.
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 Farmer Saturday, NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt reported.
As for Clowney, the Browns are definitely intrigued by him.
Last week, Pettine called Clowney a “freakish athlete.” He would project as an outside linebacker in Pettine’s 3-4, hybrid defense.
Clowney could become one of the top two picks next month, though questions about his desire and work ethic could cause him to slide a bit. The amount of sacks (13) and tackles for loss (23½) he compiled as a sophomore in 2012 dropped drastically – three sacks and 11½ tackles for loss – as a junior in 2013.
“I think if you’re strong and assertive as a coach, that you can get that guy to be more focused and get him to be much more consistent,” Pettine said. “So if you can take a Clowney and get him to play, to get him to get that motor humming and go hard every play, then you’ve got a guy that can absolutely dominate a game.
“I think he could change a game. He’s proven that. I had good interaction with him [at the combine] in Indianapolis. As a defensive head coach, I don’t know if I’d be all that upset to turn the card in on Clowney with the fourth pick.”