Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy this past season and led his team to the National Championship game, and will now turn his focus to the next level. He will be entering the 2015 NFL Draft, and is expected to be the top quarterback taken.
The Browns addressed the quarterback situation during the 2014 NFL Draft as well in the first round, but Johnny Manziel was an absolute disaster in his rookie season. Whether he was too busy partying to show up for team practices or not making any type of impact on the field, he didn't show any signs of being a future starter. That has forced the Browns to consider other options this offseason.
Cleveland has the 12th and 19th picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, and are strongly considering packaging those two picks together to move up for a quarterback.
At this point in time, it appears that Mariota would be their number one target if they did trade up, according to a report from Bleacher Report's Jason Cole . Jameis Winston would be their second choice, although he is a much less attractive option than Mariota.
It is disappointing for Cleveland to have to make this type of move after already spending a first round pick on a quarterback last season. Mariota would look very good in Cleveland, and could be the franchise quarterback that the Browns have been searching for over the past few seasons.
Mariota was an absolute beast this past season for the Ducks, throwing for 4,454 yards, 42 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Those numbers show exactly why he is listed as the number one quarterback available in the draft by most teams, analysts, and fans.
Needless to say, it is going to be a very intriguing offseason to keep an eye on the Browns. After losing Josh Gordon for "at least" a year due to his latest failed drug test, the Browns are also going to need an impact wide receiver. Perhaps a free agent like Randall Cobb could be target in order to fill that void.
All of that being said, the Browns aren't going to do much without getting a better quarterback. Neither Brian Hoyer or Manziel looked like capable starting quarterbacks last year, but acquiring Mariota would certainly be a great move.
Don't be surprised to see the Browns shopping around for a higher draft pick over the early part of the offseason. They know that they have to be aggressive to get back into playoff contention. Mariota appears to be their guy, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them do everything in their power to get him.
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