The Cleveland Browns will begin final draft preparations this week and next by hosting the top quarterbacks at the team's facility in Berea, Ohio.
“That's another piece of information for us,” coach Hue Jackson said last week at the NFL meetings. “That’s probably the last piece of the process for us to bring them to campus and have an opportunity to sit down with them in a different environment and talk through things.”
The Browns attended all the quarterbacks' pro days.
“I think we walked away from there feeling good about the things we saw,” Jackson said.
Jackson and general manager John Dorsey touched on all the quarterbacks in separate interviews last week -- Jackson at the open coach’s breakfast, Dorsey when he met with the local media from Cleveland.
Here’s a rundown:
On Darnold throwing in the rain at his pro day:
Jackson: “[It showed] that he handles adversity well, that when things are not just cookie-cutter that he knows how to adjust.”
Dorsey: "I'm kind of glad it rained a little bit, just to see everything unfolded. I thought he had a really nice workout. I thought he showed feet, he showed the ability to roll out, extend the play, he showed the quick release, he showed downfield accuracy. I mean, it really was a really good workout.”
On Darnold’s fumbling issues and whether his hands are too small:
Jackson: “First, his hand size is good. I think, No. 2, some of the things can be fixed.”
“It's really interesting, I always tell the story about Carson Palmer, his first year in the NFL. If you go back, he fumbled the ball quite a bit. People would hit his hand, and he didn't have two hands on the ball. So you have to really understand those things. We were able to work through those things with Sam. We feel more comfortable, but there's still work to do there.”
On Darnold being a very mature 20:
Jackson: “That struck me, and that happens when you play at a school like USC, because there are such huge expectations put on that quarterback there. That’s a Power 5 school that has a chance to be in the national championship game every year, and when you talk about USC, that’s what the expectation is, so I think he’s had to grow up pretty fast.”
On Allen’s skills:
Jackson: “This guy is what the quarterbacks look like when they get out of a truck. He looks the part. So it's going to be interesting over the next five weeks to see where we are.”
On Allen's arm strength:
Dorsey: "One of the receivers at Wyoming, I thought he broke his sternum there in the end zone when Josh Allen kind of ripped the ball right in his chest. He's got a very strong arm."
On Allen throwing with touch:
Jackson: “Oh, he can. I’ve seen him throw the ball with touch as well. I saw that also at the Senior Bowl where he did that, threw a huge touchdown pass, if you go back and see it, with great touch. So he can do it. He has the different speeds of his arm, but when he needs to fit a ball in, he can fit a ball in.”
On UCLA coach Jim Mora saying Darnold would be better for Cleveland than his guy, Rosen:
Jackson: “I think what he was trying to do is, he used the word ‘fit.’ He thought that maybe Sam was a better fit for us and that Josh was a better fit for New York. I get it. I don’t think he was putting down his quarterback.”
On Mayfield’s personality:
Jackson: “I think he's outstanding. I have a different appreciation for Baker. Spending that time with him, what a leader, tremendous person. ... He is important in the community. I think he's important to his teammates. I kind of feel like he's the Pied Piper of Oklahoma football.”
Dorsey: “I think he’s very competitive on the football field. I think his teammates absolutely love him. I think everybody in the support organization of Oklahoma loves him. I think he’s got a degree of humility in his person.”
On Mayfield's arrest for public intoxication:
Jackson: “I think he's moved on from that. We understand. He explained it all to us. We understand it. It was a time in his life, and I think he's grown from it."
On what jumps out about Rosen:
Jackson: “His ability to throw the football. He can put the ball in spaces. ... Looks like a big-time NFL quarterback and has a real rhythm to his arm. We're talking about one of the best pure passers in this draft.”
On whether Rosen would want to play in Cleveland:
Jackson: “People made the statement that he didn’t want to, and we didn’t get that feeling at all. I think he’d love to be in Cleveland, love to play here.”
On whether the Browns see a franchise quarterback in this group:
Jackson: “I think the guy’s in there. I really do.”