It was good to see Tom Heckert looking healthy and spry Thursday morning. Heckert met the media for the first time since he had heart surgery. He said he was doing well, and all was good. He did not want to go into detail, but looked like he had lost weight and said he felt fine.
That was good.
It also was the most revealing thing he said all morning. Reading the Browns intentions as they head to free agency and the draft is not easy, especially about the draft.
That’s fine. A team with the fourth overall pick really can’t reveal its intentions unless the other three teams ahead of it commit to theirs.
But the more I hear, the more convinced I am that a trade down in the draft is as likely as a trade up. Which of course means Ryan Tannehill is as likely a choice as Robert Griffin III.
To be clear, nobody has actually said this.
It’s just an attempt to read tea leaves.
And we all know what can happen when tea leaves are misread.
That being said, the Browns have gone on record that they are very well enamored with Tannehill, the Texas A&M guy coached by Mike Sherman, a member of the Holmgren inner circle and represented by uber-Browns agent Bob Lamonte.
It might seem like Miami would be a more likely landing spot for Tannehill, but the Dolphins are heavy after Peyton Manning, with Matt Flynn option two.
Coach Pat Shurmur told folks at the Auto Show that he was “equally impressed” with Tannehill as he was Griffin. Heckert said how much liked Tannehill.
This could be posturing, which takes place before the draft.
And it’s understandable.
It also could mean the Browns are willing to bypass Griffin, trade down, acquire another extra pick and draft Tannehill.
They could not go below 12 though, because that’s when Seattle is expected to take Tannehill (if the Seahawks don’t sign Flynn).
Extra picks would continue the plan the Browns established last year at the draft, when they bypassed Julio Jones to trade down. Getting extra picks this year could replenish a roster that is badly in need of replenishing.
It would not have the same impact as trading up for RG3, but trading down, getting extra players and a quarterback might be just as effective a way to build a team.
It might be a tough sell to Browns fans who are clamoring for Griffin, but there seems to be a clean split between folks who want the Browns to do what it takes to trade up and those who want the Browns to keep or acquire picks to replenish the roster.