BEREA, Ohio -- Wrapping up the latest on the NFL Draft following Tom Heckerts news conference:
---The biggest draft news Thursday came via Twitter after Heckert was finished speaking at the Cleveland Browns facility. Thats when Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com reported that Ohio State tackle Mike Adams had tested positive for marijuana at the Scouting Combine.
This borders on the inexplicable. Players know months in advance when the Combine will be held, yet Adams evidently still failed a test. There have been red flags and concerns about Adams for some time, and hes done little to help himself since Ohio States season ended. That he tested positive could indicate a serious disregard for rules and protocol (he was suspended for a good part of the Buckeyes season) or that he has a problem (Adams reportedly tested positive earlier in his career at Ohio State).
None of this will help him stay in the first round, especially when its combined with what draft analyst Mike Mayock said were questions of maturity when the Combine ended. Adams has tried to minimize the damage by going through counseling immediately, but his buzz has not been shall we say overwhelmingly good.
---As for the Browns, Heckert the teams rankings are set and he does not see the Browns trading out of the fourth spot
I know who that four is going to be if we stay there, Heckert said. Were all on the same page. We know were getting one of two guys.
Let the guessing begin on the two -- with most of the guessing based on the assumption that Minnesota will take offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the third pick. Presumably one of the two is Alabama running back Trent Richardson. He comes at a spot of need and is considered a better overall player than Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon. The other? It could be LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, a player Heckert gushed about.
--There remains considerable buzz that the Browns are considering quarterback Ryan Tannehill as well. Heckert did little to indicate that was true -- though he did say hes enjoying the misinformation being spread in general.
Everything youve heard is complete nonsense, Heckert said. Its that time of year.
That might explain the buzz about Tannehill, which seems illogical. Heckert said Tannehills workout did nothing to change his ranking on the Browns board.
To be honest with you, Ive never seen anybody have a bad workout, he said.
---Heckert shrugged at the notion that a team might trade with the Vikings to the third spot to take one of the Browns top choices.
It really wouldnt affect us that much if they did, he said. Because were happy with one of the two. Actually a few guys. We dont feel it would be a big deal for us.
That is a confident GM.
--Eighteen players have first-round grades, Heckert said. The Browns second pick in the first round is 22nd. But Heckert is not worried about getting one of those top 18 because no teams rank players the same.
In some of the more interesting discussion about his strategy, Heckert said if all 18 are gone, or going, the Browns would move out of the 22nd slot. Meaning they would trade up to get one of the first rounders, or trade down. Thats what happened last year when Heckert traded up to get Phil Taylor (after trading down with Atlanta). He thought the guys with first-round grades would be gone if he did not move up.
He also said the Browns expect to get starters with first three or four picks, and added that its vital that he and the Browns stick to their rankings.
If you change for need, youre gonna make mistakes, he said. You cant stray away from what you think about the player just because of a perceived need. Ask any personnel guy in the league, thats where mistakes are made.
That is part of the reason antenna went up about Claiborne. The Browns have glaring needs on offense, but Claiborne might just be the best player available to the Browns when they draft. Especially if the Vikings take Kalil.
--Finally, Heckert again addressed the Browns quarterback situation by saying the team believes in Colt McCoy. We like Colt, he said. We think Colt can play.
Why go after Robert Griffin III then? Because Griffin and Andrew Luck are both top-level guys who can be Pro Bowlers. Heckert pointed out the team did not go after Matt Flynn, presumably because he does not have the same potential as Griffin.
Thats not saying Colts not a really good player, Heckert said.