Although there was some speculation that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam may have had a hand in the club’s decision to trade up for Johnny Manziel, GM Ray Farmer says that “at no point in the draft did Jimmy try to influence the decisions that were made” (Twitter link via Lindsay Jones of USA Today). Meanwhile, head coach Mike Pettine says Manziel won’t simply be handed the starting job, and that he’ll compete with Brian Hoyer, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Twitter).
- Ryan Shazier, drafted 15th overall by the Steelers, “has no holes” according to head coach Mike Tomlin, who was quoted by Ed Bouchette in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- In an additional blog post, Bouchette defended the selection: “Shazier is exactly the kind of player Chuck Noll told Art Rooney Jr. he needed when the Steelers hired him to coach them in 1969 – great athletes with great production. That’s what Shazier has. . .He also has the kind of speed where you could line him up with some of the fastest wide receivers and cornerbacks and he would beat most of them to the tape.”
- Sitting at No. 46 in the second round, the Steelers could benefit from an expected run of offensive linemen, says ESPN’s Scott Brown, who lists ten prospects who could be on the Steelers radar, four of which are echoed by Bouchette: Penn State WR Allen Robinson, Indiana WR Cody Latimer, Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt and Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman.
- Also buried in Bouchette’s post were a few tidbits: Shazier is an obvious upgrade over Vince Williams, especially when it comes to speed and range; Shazier might have been preferred over CJ Mosley, in part, because of durability; and anything the team gets out of Sean Spence will be a bonus, as they are “not counting on him at all.”
- Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome was looking for a “bonanza” to move off the 17th pick, which he used to select Mosley, whose combination of outstanding tape and special intangibles impressed team brass. The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec quotes assistant GM Eric DeCosta, who raved about Mosley: “He’s fast, instinctive, tough, smart, talented, a playmaker. People always ask about the best available player and what that means. He was the best available player on our board and he would have been the best available player on our board at 10. He’s a great football player.”
- As they did with Alabama product Dre Kirkpatrick two years ago, the Bengals won’t ask Darqueze Dennard to start in his first year, writes Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
Zach Links contributed to this post.