AFC Notes: Browns, Shazier, Welker

Per Chris Mortensen of, former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan — widely regarded as one of the league’s top talent evaluators — has joined the Browns as a personnel consultant to assist the team in this year’s draft (although Mike Jones of USA Today tweets that McCloughan is still running his private pre-draft scouting service and is not exclusively assisting any one team). McCloughan and new Browns GM John Dorsey are close, and both men worked together in Green Bay under then-Packers GM Ron Wolf. Washington fired McCloughan in March 2017, and McCloughan subsequently filed a grievance against the Redskins, the outcome of which is still pending.

Cleveland has 12 picks in the 2018 draft, including Nos. 1 and 4 overall, so McCloughan’s talents will certainly be put to good use (assuming he has, in fact, joined the Browns’ staff). McCloughan has previously said Oklahoma signal-caller Baker Mayfield is his favorite QB in this year’s class, though team sources indicate that there is no clear favorite if Cleveland decides to use the top pick on a quarterback.

McCloughan participated in meetings with the Browns’ full scouting department yesterday, so it certainly sounds as if he is working for Cleveland alone at this point.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • Steelers LB Ryan Shazier has regained movement in his legs and is engaging in a regular walking routine, per Adam Schefter of One source familiar with Shazier’s recovery said that Shazier is making “incredible progress.”
  • The Broncos requested permission to interview Texans offensive/special teams assistant Wes Welker for its WRs coach position, per Mike Klis of 9News (via Twitter). Had Denver hired Welker in that capacity, it would have represented a promotion for him, but Houston denied the request. The Broncos hired Zach Azzanni as WRs coach instead.
  • It seems fairly clear that the Raiders violated the Rooney Rule when they agreed to hire Jon Gruden as their next coach before interviewing any minority candidates, but commissioner Roger Goodell insisted during his state of the league address last week that Oakland was in compliance with the Rule. However, the way in which Goodell delivered that affirmation has raised plenty of eyebrows (as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports discusses in detail), and if the Raiders were found to be in compliance with the Rule, it seems unlikely any team will be found to have violated it in the future.
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