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Browns GM Ray Farmer presser: Watkins gets a wow, support for Manziel, Bridgewater

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 28, 2014

Below are some highlights from Browns’ General Manager Ray Farmer’s news conference today in Berea. Check later today for more stories from Farmer's availability.

On the uncertainty of what’s going to happen at three spots before Browns pick: “I feel like 1, 2, and 3 are starting to shape up in my mind. There are five options to go 1, 2, and 3. I’m starting to narrow it down, at least in my head. It’s a speculation game at this point.”

On Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s dedication to football: “I don’t think I have any reservations with who Johnny is. We spent a lot of time with him. He’s a good young man. You don’t get a handbook with how to operate in certain instances. When you go from being a kid from Tyler, Texas to being Johnny Football and winning the Heisman Trophy really quickly, they don’t hand you a manual and tell you how to handle the media swarm, paparazzi, how to handle people coming up to you at dinners. He would tell you it’s probably not how he would have written it up, but you live and you learn. There’s good things ahead for him. It’s how do you handle it when he gets to his new destination.”

On Manziel as a player: “He’s different. He’s not the quintessential guy who everybody points to and says, ‘This is how you would draw it up, this is the packaging you want.’ That speaks to a lot of what Johnny has been his entire life, is different. It’s not how you think about playing the position and being effective from the pocket.”

On trading down: “If there were five guys that I really loved, could I really trade to six? I’d have to hope that somebody likes somebody in their top 5 or 6 that would push one of the guys to me.”

On talking to GMs: “In the last 24 hours I would say 8 to 10. The last week I’d say all. That last week will be spent having those phone conversations.”

More on trade down: “You’ve got to consider, we’ll talk in generic terms. If blue players are elite players in the draft and below blue there’s red. Is one blue player worth two reds? It’s a good debate. It’s a great question.”

On Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack: “Explosive, can rush the passer, play in coverage, can do a little bit of everything. A physical anomaly for the conference he plays in. This guy looks like the real deal. When he got on bigger stages he demonstrated he could perform. That’s what you want to see. You want to see a guy who has the ability to play on the big stage. When he got on the big stage he played big.”

On South Carolina defensive lineman’s Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic: “As we get closer to the draft the more you’ll see smoke. Is he supremely talented? Yes. Do people wonder about different pieces of his game? Sure. The more you overthink it, we could shoot holes in all of these guys. You want to unearth what can this guy do, how can he help your program and can this guy be a difference maker and I think Jadeveon Clowney can do those things.”

On Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins’ possible impact on the Browns: “Big. Big. Really big. Ginormous. He’s explosive, got really good hands, can run all the routes, be product. Saddle him on opposite side of Josh Gordon and wow.”

On Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater:  “He’s had the burden of answering the question about the differences between his pro day and his performance. It comes down to guys in my position deciding, ‘Do you hold onto the tape? Do you hold onto private workout? Do you hold onto his pro day.’ All those pieces factor into it. It realty comes down to how does he play football. If we went outside and played basketball and I can’t make a shot. … but every time we play I score 30 and have 10 boards and five steals, do you want me on your team or are you going to pass me because I couldn’t warm up right?”


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