August 30, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy
70°F
test

GM Tom Heckert talks NFL Draft, says the Browns have several needs

BEREA – Browns general manager Tom Heckert met the media Thursday morning for the final time before the three-day NFL Draft that begins next Thursday.

He didn’t reveal the team’s rankings or plans, but answered questions on a number of topics during the 40-minute news conference. Some highlights.

** Will the Browns take an offensive player at No. 6?

“I wouldn’t assume that. I really wouldn’t,” Heckert said. “We have some holes to fill all over the place, on offense and defense. We’re going to try to stick with our philosophy of drafting the best player.”

** What’s the team’s biggest need?

“That’s a good question,” Heckert said. “I think we have a few of ‘em.”

** On the injury concerns surrounding Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (knee) and Alabama receiver Julio Jones (foot).

Heckert said both have cleared Cleveland’s medical tests. Heckert said Jones improved his standing by running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine despite having a stress fracture in his foot that later required surgery.

“It shows how tough the kid is,” Heckert said.

** Ranking Jones and Georgia receiver A.J. Green, both considered possibilities at No. 6.

“It’s up to each individual club. Both are very talented guys,” Heckert said. “Both can run and catch. Both are kinda the same size, maybe one (Jones) runs a little faster. They’re very similar. Not much difference.

“Either one’s fine (in the West Coast offense).”

** Heckert reiterated that he’s not as down on Cleveland’s receiver group as some fans and media.

“We like these guys,” he said. “Robo (Brian Robiskie) and Mohamed (Massaquoi) are good players.

“Last year, they didn’t get a ton of opportunities. I think the West Coast offense will help them, it will at least get them the ball. We’ll find out more about them this year than we did before.

“It’s not as bleak as people think.”

** Any chance of the Browns trading up to get into the top five?

“It’s probably unlikely,” Heckert said. “We have talked to teams ahead of us just to see. But we hate to give up picks.”

** On the news that quarterback Colt McCoy is hosting receivers Massaquoi, Carlton Mitchell, Jordan Norwood and Joshua Cribbs in Austin, Texas, today to work out and run routes during the lockout.

“I think it’s great,” Heckert said. “To be honest with you, when we were in Philadelphia, it happened anyway.

“It’s probably more publicized now. It’s nice. If they don’t, I don’t think it’s a big deal. They’ll be ready when they come back, we’ll have time.”

 CHECK BACK LATER FOR MORE BROWNS COVERAGE.