- Jeremy Fowler, ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter
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NFL teams flocked to Eugene, Oregon, on Thursday to watch top prospect Marcus Mariota throw footballs in shorts.
General manager Ray Farmer was not present, but that's not curious -- he's known to sit out pro days and favors private workouts. He'll probably watch the tape of Mariota's session.
In fact, he might have a pretty good idea how the day will go for Mariota -- apparently his new quarterbacks coach helped script the day.
NFL Network's Lindsay Rhodes tweeted live from the event that Mariota crafted his 65-throw script with Kevin O'Connell, who was training Mariota before accepting Cleveland's quarterbacks coach job. O'Connell is in attendance at Mariota's pro day.
News broke of O'Connell's hiring in late January, but the hire wasn't made official until Feb. 17. The Browns let O'Connell finish his sessions as a private quarterbacks coach (he helped Johnny Manziel last year alongside notable quarterbacks tutor George Whitfield) before officially joining the staff. The NFL did not take issue with O'Connell's transition.
O'Connell's influence on the pro day script is a reminder of the Browns' unique perspective on Mariota.
Obtaining Mariota would likely require, at the least, the Browns' two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 19 overall) and mid-round picks. At the least. There's always a chance Mariota falls to the middle of the first round, but momentum does not seem to swing that way.
Marcus Mariota's pro day takes on Cleveland Browns feel as new Browns QBs coach helped script Mariota's throws before joining Mike Pettine's staff.