While moving out of the No. 7 overall pick is a possibility, Browns president Mike Holmgren didn't want lead on fans who think the team might trade into the No. 1 spot to nab Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.
The Browns hold 10 picks and Holmgren warned fans not to expect a similar move to what then-Saints coach Mike Ditka did in 1999, trading all their picks in 1999 and a first-rounder in 2000 to Washington to draft Texas running back Ricky Williams.
''I don't want to then pull the rug out from everybody in our first draft,'' Holmgren said Thursday during the Browns' pre-draft press conference. ''He's a coveted young man. To be able to go up and change somebody's mind ahead of us, you'd have to mortgage the ranch. Remember when coach Ditka did that with 11 picks, then he went and played golf.
''Absolutely we love the player, as do a lot of people, but in the real world we're probably going to go in a different direction there.''
Holmgren admitted that it's hard to put stock in what teams say at this time of the year. But he also suggested the Browns might not select a quarterback in the April 22-24 draft.
''In years past I've always liked to do that,'' Holmgren said, ''whether you take a quarterback high or whether you take a quarterback late and develop him. As we look at this and try to analyze the draft, there are no guarantees that way in this draft. So I'm backtracking slightly, but it could happen. But in the past where I've said, 'I'd like to do that each year.' I'd still like to do it, but I'm not sure it's going to happen.
''There are some people we like very much, but we don't think we're going to be in a position to get them, they're going to be gone. Then you couple that with the fact that there are other needs on the football team. I don't think we're in panic mode at the quarterback position this year, we can play the game. We have to be smart in how we do that. The quarterback situation is going to be very interesting in this year's draft. While I would like to do it, I'm not sure we're going to do it this year.''
General manager Tom Heckert said the Browns have talked to the St. Louis Rams about the No. 1 pick, but had no formal discussions. The Rams are expected to select Bradford.
''We've played a little phone tag, but we've talked to them throughout the process,'' Heckert said. ''We've been at workouts with the Rams people and mentioned stuff to them. But nothing, just talk. We've talked to all the teams ahead of us and most of the teams directly behind us.''