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Browns could target No. 5 pick, QB Mariota

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The Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins discussed a deal for the fifth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday in Chicago.

Cleveland has a pair of first-round picks — 12th and 19th overall — and could use one or both to move up in order to be in position to select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

First-year Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan made it clear Monday that the No. 5 pick is up for bidding. McCloughan said he would like to move down and turn his team’s seven picks into 10.

NFL.com first reported the talks with Cleveland, adding that general manager Ray Farmer was in touch with most of the teams with picks in the top 10.

The Browns signed veteran Josh McCown and two 2014 rookies, Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw, are still in the picture at quarterback. Manziel, a first-round pick last year, spent most of the offseason in a rehab facility.

The depth chart shallow on proven options feeds speculation that Mariota could be the target of Farmer and the Browns. Asked about parlaying multiple picks into a draft-day deal for Mariota last week, coach Mike Pettine said “Sure, why not?”

Former San Diego State quarterback Kevin O’Connell, hired as Browns quarterbacks coach, was a personal coach for Mariota in January and February and ran the Heisman Trophy winner’s pro day workout in Eugene, Ore., last month.

Farmer said the pre-draft process for the Browns blurred the lines between coaches and scouts to gain a greater, evolving perspective on top prospects.

Cleveland has a track record of swings and misses at quarterback.

Since returning to the NFL in 1999, 22 quarterbacks made starts for the franchise, including Manziel and Shaw last season.


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