BEREA - After a press conference that lasted almost one hour Thursday to discuss the Browns' draft strategy, here are a few things that we know or don't know depending on the smoke screens that all teams put out this time of the year.
n Team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert have Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford in a class above every other quarterback.
n Holmgren isn't as down on Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen as previously thought, but it's doubtful Clausen will be the pick at number seven overall.
n Heckert, who's clearly in charge of the draft, won't reach for a player to fill a need in a draft that's considered as deep as any in years.
n Despite all the talk about drafting a quarterback, don't be surprised if the Browns don't pick one.
Heckert admitted that the Browns have contacted the St. Louis Rams concerning the possibility of moving up to the top of the draft to land Bradford. It would probably take this year's number one and next year's number one, plus this year's second-round pick and another pick to make the trade, which Holmgren referred to as a ransom too steep to pay.
There's also conjecture that the Browns are high on Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who could be available early in the second round.
"I've stated in years past that I like to do that (draft a quarterback), whether you take a quarterback high or take one late and develop him," Holmgren said. "As we look at this and analyze the draft, there are no guarantees that way in this draft.
"I would still like to do it, but I'm not sure it's going to happen, quite honestly. As we look at it, there are some people we like very much, but we're not in a position to get them because I think they're going to be gone. Couple that with the fact that there are other needs on the football team."
The Browns have 35-year-old Jake Delhomme in place to start at quarterback coming off a terrible season with the Carolina Panthers. Beyond that are Seneca Wallace and Brett Ratliff.
Drafting a young quarterback for the future is something the Browns need to do, but Holmgren and Heckert are being cautious about how to handle the situation.
"I don't think we're in panic mode at the quarterback position right now," Holmgren said. "We can play the game (with the players we have). We have to be smart on how we do that. While I would like to do it, I'm not sure we'll do it this year."
Assuming the Browns don't trade up for Bradford or aren't able to get McCoy in the second round, another option is Clausen. Holmgren went on record recently saying that he wished he liked Clausen better, but his opinion appears to have changed.
"When Jim came in we talked about that statement," Holmgren said. "Prior to any draft I'll say any number of things for any number of reasons. It was important that he and I talked about that in case he misunderstood. I wouldn't read too much into that statement. He had a good visit here."
If the Browns remain at number seven, there's conjecture that Tennessee safety Eric Berry could be the pick, assuming he gets by Kansas City at five and Seattle at six. Selecting a safety high in the first round can be risky, but the Browns appear willing to pull the trigger on Berry.
"It depends on how good they are," Heckert said. "If we have guys graded with the same grades, you'd probably go to a different position from a safety, but if you're talking about a great player, that muddles the waters a little bit."
If the Browns are involved in a trade in the first round, it might be to move down. With so many talented players on the board, they could move down a few spots to pick up an extra pick or two and still get a player like Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, Texas defensive back Earl Thomas or Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick.
"If you drop from seventh to 10th you hope your guy is still there," Heckert said. "We have about 24 guys in the first round with first-round grades on, so we obviously think they're good players. The only way we'd move down is if we thought we still get a top, top guy. We're not going to trade down just to trade down."