Browns get a look at Bortles

Browns get a look at Bortles
April 2, 2014, 11:30 pm
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(USA TODAY Sports)

The Cleveland Browns are off on their tour of Quarterbacks Across America. After working out Fresno State’s Derek Carr on Monday, they conducted a private session with Central Florida’s Blake Bortles on Wednesday, cleveland.com reported.

The Browns reportedly have four more QBs scheduled this week: Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo, Pitt's Tom Savage and Ball State's Keith Wenning. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel is scheduled for later this month.

Coach Mike Pettine said: "We're doing our homework on all these guys and we’re going to log a lot of miles here in the next couple weeks and hopefully we can find that quarterback that’s going to best serve the Cleveland Browns.''

When the Browns’ turn for their first pick in the draft comes up at No. 4, Bortles might not be available. His star seems to be rising. In the three-man group that most people have at the top of the QB class — Bortles, Bridgewater and Manziel — everyone has flaws. For example, just recently, Bridgewater failed to ace his pro day with his throws.

[MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft 7.0]

Bortles did just the opposite, impressing observers.

After Bortles’ pro day, NFL Network commentator Mike Mayock said: "He’s young, he’s got a lot of work to do — I can see that on tape — but what I saw out there is he’s potentially a franchise quarterback.”

So maybe Bortles goes to the Houston Texans with the top pick.

"I was very impressed," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said of the pro day. "He made every throw I wanted to see, and he showed good footwork."

Pettine praised Bortles as well, saying last week: "He has all the measurables. If you look at him, if you said, 'Draw me an NFL quarterback,' that's probably who you'd draw.”

Now, Pettine, general manager Ray Farmer, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains have had their own private look at him. But with the Texans going first and the Jacksonville Jaguars picking third (after the St. Louis Rams), both of them needing QBs, the Browns must keep checking out this year’s crop, because if they don’t like who’s available at No. 4, they still have the 26th and 35th picks to think about.