Kiper says Manziel may be gone by 4th pick

The way-too-early chatter about the Cleveland Browns and the draft has mainly been all about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has Manziel going first overall to Houston in his second mock draft, and on a conference call on Thursday Kiper said he did not expect Manziel to be available for the Browns when they pick fourth.

“I think for Cleveland to see Manziel there would be a surprise to me just because when you talk to people in the league he’s kind of the consensus No. 1 quarterback,” Kiper said. “There’s some that don’t have him that high but the ones I talk to have him as the No. 1 quarterback so I would see him going one or three (to Houston or Jacksonville). Remember both those teams in the AFC South have to deal with the Colts and keep up with Andrew Luck.”

Kiper says that Manziel is in play for the Texans, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders and Vikings.

New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan did not discuss Manziel at his introductory news conference, but he did when he spoke on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Shanahan said he’s enjoyed watching what he’s seen of Manziel, but he hasn’t studied him on film. Shanahan did say that a player who makes plays like Manziel did in college should be able to do the same in the NFL.

Kiper added he can see the Browns taking Teddy Bridgewater, comparing the situation to when Joe Banner and the Eagles took Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

“I heard Cleveland maybe has a prety good opinion of Bridgewater,” Kiper said.

He also brought up the appealing prospect of taking Sammy Watkins fourth and looking for a quarterback later.

“If he is there pair him opposite Josh Gordon with Jordan Cameron coming on then you could look at the quarterback at 26, be it Derek Carr from Fresno State or AJ McCarron from Alabama,” Kiper said. “If you want to go Bridgewater at four you could come back at 26 and maybe look at Davante Adams the wide receiver from Fresno State, Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State or Brandin Cooks Oregon State, Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU.”

Let the talk continue.