Derek Carr, Browns to continue pre-draft flirtations in Cleveland

The Fresno BeeApril 21, 2014 

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr throws while being pressured by USC's Kyle Yatabe in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21, 2013.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS — Fresno Bee Staff Photo Buy Photo

Former Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr is considered by most to be first-round pick material. The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback and own two first-round picks.

This week, the Browns will get another chance to see if Carr is their perfect match.

Carr will travel to Cleveland this week to meet with the Browns at their team facility, according to a source familiar with the scheduled meeting. This comes three weeks after Browns coaches and officials flew out to Fresno State for a private workout and interviews with Carr.

Cleveland clearly needs a quarterback and can use either the No. 4 or No. 26 overall picks in the first round to select a franchise arm during the NFL Draft on May 8-10.

The Browns are also taking hard looks at other quarterbacks in the draft, including Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. If they are going above and beyond due diligence to do so, it's understandable. They've yet to get the quarterback position mastered since the NFL returned to Cleveland in 1999.

Since then, the Browns have drafted three quarterbacks in the first round: Tim Couch (No. 1 in 1999), Brady Quinn (No. 22 in 2007) and Brandon Weeden (No. 22 in 2012), which goes a long ways toward explaining their 13 losing seasons in 15 years.

As far as franchise quarterbacks go, Carr has impressed NFL teams in the interview room throughout the draft process. He is consistently rated as the best pro-style quarterback in the class, and his arm strength is second to none.

That said, he is also consistently rated by draft pundits as the fourth-best prospect in a quarterback class led by Bridgewater, Manziel and Blake Bortles. Carr has bristled at the notion, saying recently on NFL Network that he considers himself the top quarterback prospect in the draft.

"I know what teams are telling me in these meetings, so I feel very good about where I'm at," Carr said last month.

Carr has also had visits to Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Tennessee, along with extensive interviews in Fresno with the Raiders and Vikings.

The reporter can be reached at bydw@sbcglobal.net and on Twitter @bydavidwhite.

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