BEREA, Ohio (AP) -Dressed in a dark sport coat with ``BROWNS'' inscribed on the right breast pocket, Cleveland general manager Phil Savage kept his plans for the upcoming NFL draft close to the metaphorical vest.
Seated at a poker table, Savage would be a tough guy to read.
Preparing for his third - and most vital - draft as Cleveland's GM, Savage revealed little about what he might do with the No. 3 overall pick. During a 1-hour, 20-minute news conference, Savage was careful not to tip his hand.
Will the Browns trade up? Possibly.
Will the Browns trade down? Maybe.
Will the Browns stay put? Might.
About the only thing Savage made clear was that if the Browns decide to stay in the third slot, they'll chose from a group of five players who have become the consensus cream of this year's draft crop.
The Fab Five consists of quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell of LSU and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame, wide receiver Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech, offensive tackle Joe Thomas of Wisconsin and running back Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma. All are considered can't-miss prospects by draft gurus, scouts and front-office types.
``As it sits today, if nothing were to happen, we're going to get one of those five players,'' he said. ``How that shakes out, I don't think we'll know that until draft day, specifically once we go on the clock.''
This year's draft holds more intrigue than many in recent history, primarily because of the uncertainty at the top. Oakland owns the No. 1 pick but it's still unclear which way the Raiders are leaning. At No. 2 sits Detroit, and as GM Matt Millen has shown in past drafts, guessing what the Lions will do is next to impossible.
The Browns are followed by Tampa Bay and Arizona. All five teams have different needs and may go different routes to fill them.
``I think any of the five could go any direction,'' Savage said. ``It's going to be fun to see how it turns out.''
Of the top five players, Johnson is the only one yet to visit the Browns, who expect to host him sometime later this week.
This is the second time in three years, and the fifth time since 1999, that the Browns have picked in the top three. Two years ago, the club nabbed wide receiver Braylon Edwards third overall.
Savage said this year's elite group of players is better than the one he had to chose from in 2005.
``We'll see how history plays itself out, but I do think this is a stronger top 5 than two years ago. You hear that last year Brady Quinn would have been the fourth quarterback taken. Maybe. Maybe not. In '05, he might have been the first player taken. I do think this might be a little more spectacular top 5.''
While the Browns plot their own draft board, they're trying to be prepared for the many scenarios that could pop up when commissioner Roger Goodell informs the Raiders that they are on the clock.
Savage doesn't have a solid feel for what the black-and-silver intend to do. He's guessing they'll focus on Russell and Quinn or maybe Johnson, widely considered the best player in this year's class.
``Or they might trade out,'' said Savage, who was asked if the Raiders and Lions might be agreeable to dealing with the Browns. ``I would say that they are willing to listen. We're willing to listen, too. One of the GMs e-mailed me yesterday and I said that we were open for anything. I think that's part of the process right now.''
Savage spent a portion of his news conference gushing about Johnson, the 6-foot-5 freakishly fast wideout who dazzled scouts by being timed in 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Savage also noted Johnson's vertical jump (42.5 inches) and broad jump (11-foot-7) before listing reasons why the Browns might pick him.
``There aren't many of these types of guys walking around,'' he said. ``People might ask why the Browns would take a wideout. The reason is that he affects coverage. He probably makes your running game better. He would fit in a formidable group of skill players. This guy is a big-time talent, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him go No. 1.
``He's deserving of that accolade if that happens.''

Recent NFL Discussions

Improve your NFL betting skills on Tue, Jul 2017 by JJordan90
CFL Betting News and Notes Week 5 on Mon, Jul 2017 by Blade
College Football Conference Previews on Tue, Jul 2017 by Blade
Pac-12 Schedule Breakdown on Sun, Jul 2017 by Blade
CFL Betting News and Notes Week 4 on Sat, Jul 2017 by Blade

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Don't Pass on these NFL Betting Picks It may be of small comfort that that the regular season is still one and a half months away from starting, but compared to the long wait we’ve had since the...
Thumbnail Betting Against Terrible NFL Teams When you have a great handle on just how an NFL franchise is going to perform heading into a brand new season, well, clearly, that’s a good thing that will allow...
Thumbnail Broncos Win-Total Pick Are the Denver Broncos going to once again be a force in the AFC...
Thumbnail Packers Win-Total Prediction Can the Green Bay Packers remain the best team in the NFC North and make a run to double-digit wins this...
Thumbnail NFL Regular Season Win Totals How many wins will each of the 32 teams have in the NFL regular season? Here's a look at the odds.

NFL Team Pages