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Jackson sees his franchise QB in this draft class

By MARY KAY CABOT • Mar 28, 2018 at 1:41 AM

ORLANDO — Hue Jackson says the Browns are 'very close' to reaching a consensus on the quarterback they want to draft, and that all four of the top prospects are still in the mix.

He also believes his franchise QB is one of those four.

He praised things about all of them, including Baker Mayfield's fiery personality.

Here are five things he said at the hour-long coaches' breakfast at the NFL Annual meeting here:

n On if he sees the Browns' franchise QB in this 2018 class: "I think the guy's in there. I really do."

n On being close to settling on their QB: "I think we're very close. Yeah, I think we're close. We just haven't had the chance to be together. I gave the staff the week off. They're vacationing. We're here at the owners meetings and we'll get together here soon and put our heads together and see what's best."

n On everyone saying Sam Darnold is a lock for them at No. 1: "My reaction is, I understand that people would say that and we all know that could happen, but it could not happen too. We're open and very in the process and haven't made that decision yet and we're working towards it. But I don't think any of those thing are out of the possibility. We've just got to keep working and keep talking.

n On if Josh Allen can take something off of his fastball: "Oh he can. I've seen him throw the ball with touch as well. I saw that also at the Senior Bowl where he did that, threw a huge touchdown pass if you go back and see it with great touch. So he can do it. He has the different speeds of his arm, but when he needs to fit a ball in, he can fit a ball in.

n On Baker Mayfield saying he's not coming in to sit behind a veteran: "No doubt, he doesn't (plan to sit). Obviously, I've had these conversations with all these guys. And they know — I mean, we laid it out pretty clearly, what the expectations would be and what we're trying to accomplish here. And they, to a man, they all get it. I think they understand that this opportunity — as bad as they want it — could be a little overwhelming, and that there's things they need to learn on an every day basis before they're ready to take it on. So I feel good about the four guys we met with that they understand where we are and what we're trying to do."

Dorsey acknowledged the Jets called about No. 1

ORLANDO — Browns general manager John Dorsey confirmed a report that the Jets called about moving all the way up to No. 1 when they were on their way up from No. 6 to No. 3 with the Colts.

"They called but part of the exercise of talking, it takes two parties, but it wasn't what we were looking for," Dorsey told cleveland.com and a small group of Browns beat writers covering the NFL Annual Meeting here. The Jets' call to Cleveland for No. 1 was reported by Manish Mehta of The Daily News.

In order to pry the No. 1 pick from his hands, "it better be pretty good," Dorsey said.

He insisted, however, that he's not joking around when saying repeatedly that he's open for business at No. 1 — even though the Browns are poised to draft their quarterback of the future with that pick.

Even on Monday, on The Dan Patrick Show, Patrick cited three sources as saying that the Browns really like Josh Allen the best and are feigning interest in Sam Darnold to bait the Giants to move up from No. 2 to No. 1.

"You have to explore all options," Dorsey said when asked if he'd really trade the top pick. "You never know until you know. We have to do that as an organization. To get us better I'll explore every opportunity there is up until it comes time to make that pick."

Asked if he's had conversations with the Giants about swapping the top two picks, Dorsey revealed that he met with Giants GM Dave Gettleman Monday morning, but it sounded more like two grateful GMs shooting the breeze after both were out of football in 2017.

Dorsey knows that teams will want to come up and grab one of the top four quarterbacks in the draft: USC's Sam Darnold, Wyoming's Josh Allen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and UCLA's Josh Rosen. Last year in Kansas City, Dorsey climbed to No. 10 to grab the big-armed Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech.

He's also already been active in trades this offseason for Tyrod Taylor, Damarious Randall (for DeShone Kizer) and Jarvis Landry. He also shipped Danny Shelton to the Patriots.

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