Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lies, lies and more lies

There’s an old saying in the National Football League as the annual college draft approaches.

“Never listen, nor believe,” it says, “to what any team with picks in the top five says with two weeks remaining until the draft.” They are nothing more than words meant for the inquiring ears of those teams drafting below them.

Well, maybe it doesn’t go exactly that way, but you get the drift. It’s prevaricating season in the NFL. And, of course, the multitude of fans cling tenaciously to just about every word they hear with regard to the Browns’ first-round selection.

All it is, though, is basically nothing more than a trip to Bullroar City. Take what is said, parse it, place it under a verbal microscope and then forget it. You’re probably better off thinking the exact opposite. Deal with it.

Right now, just about everyone who studies the upcoming draft to ad nauseam status believes the Browns will select a quarterback with the No. 2 overall selection. Slam dunk. Believe it. No doubt about it.

The only question, they argue, is whether it will be Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. The blond or the redhead. The Browns aren’t saying. Why should they? They’re having way too much fun misleading the public.

Or are they?

Lead spokesman Sashi Brown, much to the consternation of the draft zealots, speaks in generalities with regard to what the Browns will do. The first night of the three-day circus is still a couple of weeks away. To them, April 28 can’t come soon enough.

Brown, who has as much experience on draft night as just about every Browns fan, is an attorney by profession. He has a way with words. It’s not easy to translate what he says. Reading between the lines doesn’t help because the area there is so blurry.

Until NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says, “The Cleveland Browns are now on the clock,” all we can do is wait.

Will it be a quarterback? Now that the Los Angeles Rams have traded into the top spot ahead of the Browns with designs on a quarterback, what if they select whomever the Browns have virtually penciled in on the card to give Goodell?

Then there’s the possibility the Browns will trade down if someone else comes along and makes them an offer they can’t refuse. It’s entirely possible. Been known to happen. Brown has admitted he has fielded calls for such a move. “There’s been some interest in the pick,” he said.

That’s about as honest as he will get for the next two weeks.

And yes, there is the possibility the smokescreens the Browns’ brass have conjured up and laid down with stealth precision will result in selecting someone never mentioned previously in this annual guessing game; someone who doesn’t line up under center.

There is enough depth in the quarterback class this season where, if the Browns pass on Goff and Wentz, whoever the Rams take, in order to strengthen the team in areas that cry for help, they still can pick up a quality quarterback later on.

It’s possible that little scenario could unfold even though the probability factor it won’t happen right now outweighs it by a sizable margin.

So many questions. So few answers. So many possibilities. So much time. So much intrigue.

One more thought: This could be another of those big buildups for those hoping the Browns take a quarterback that lead to a bigger letdown if they head in an entirely different direction.

Tick tock, tick tock.

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