Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry 2022 NFL Combine Podium Availability (3.1.22)

Opening statement: 

“Good afternoon, everyone. It is good to be back in Indianapolis in person. I know we are very excited because the Combine really marks the first time that we get a chance to spend really quality time and extended time with

many of the draft prospects who are on our board. The Combine is a marker because our scouts on the college side have spent the last several months pouring a lot of time, energy and thought into a number of the individuals who are coming to Indianapolis to perform. We are looking forward to getting to know these guys in more detail. More broadly as we look at the next couple weeks, it is always exciting for us. We think we have a number of good young players on the roster currently, but the next several weeks and really the next several months will give us the opportunity to add to our talent base. Really, this is kind of the first step of the offseason to kind of map our planning with players who may be available.”


On what positions the Browns are most closely looking at this offseason:

“Quite honestly – a number of the local beat writers here have heard me say this before – we really go into each offseason with the thought process of as if we had an expansion team. We really look at every possibility and every player opportunity and try and match it to our resources and cost and really try to be as opportunistic as possible to upgrade the entire talent base.”


On his interactions with QB Baker Mayfield this offseason and the status of Mayfield’s rehab process:

“Baker is doing well in his rehab. I think you guys know how hard he works. He has worked his tail off since the surgery. He is right on track. I talked to him after the surgery – he was a little bit groggy (laughter). It is the first time he has ever had surgery in his entire career. He has worked really hard, and we feel good about his progress.”


On if he has interacted with Mayfield since that post-surgery conversation:

“We have interacted with Baker. As is typical with any player during the offseason, we have interacted with him multiple times since the end of the season, and that is not too different than several players on our roster.”


On the next steps with WR Jarvis Landry:

“Jarvis, he has been a productive player for us for the past four years and a big part of helping us turn the tide and everything like that. The next couple weeks are big for us in terms of assessing the entirety of the roster. Jarvis has been a key veteran for us and a key producer, and we are really grateful for all of that.”


On if the Browns expect Landry to be a member of the team this season:

“I am not going to go into any of our specific planning or anything along those lines, but Jarvis has been a key veteran for us for a number of years.”


On if the Browns expect DE Jadeveon Clowney to enter free agency or reach a deal with the team prior to the start of the new league year:

“I know I have been asked this question every year. Any of our players who are no longer under contract going into the next league year, there is a little bit of uncertainty. That is just the reality of it. They have gotten to the end of their deals. They have the right to test the market, so to speak. In any given offseason, there are a number of guys where you would like to bring them all back. It does not always work out that way, but we are hopeful to assemble the best team possible in the next few weeks.”


On evaluating the Browns’ 2021 draft class:

“I would evaluate it as incomplete, quite candidly. I think it is always premature to evaluate a draft class after six months, one years or two years. We really try to look at it as maybe a three-year time horizon to see how these players actually develop once they get to what we say at ‘maturity.’ Certainly, we saw some promising things from our rookie class. The reality of it is all of them have things that they can improve upon and that they need to build upon going into next year.”


On Ohio State’s WRs available in this year’s draft:

“It is always good to see Buckeyes playing at a high level and producing well. Those guys are very talented prospects. We obviously have a lot of pride with our college in Columbus. There are a number of talented players across all positions, and we are looking forward to getting to know them a little better over the next several days.”


On the status of T Jack Conklin’s rehab process:

“Jack is doing well. He is right on schedule, if not a little bit ahead of schedule. He is working hard. We see him at the facility every day. We will take it day by day and week by week, but we are optimistic that he is going to make a strong return for us.”


On how continuity with the Browns front office benefits the team entering the Combine, free agency and the NFL Draft:

“Continuity is always a good thing because it is probably no different than a marriage where with each passing year or in some cases with each passing decade you just have a little bit more familiarity, and that is not too different as you try to marry a front office with the coaching staff as we go through some of the different significant points throughout the offseason where you just kind of know what to expect, you know how to work together, you know how to solve problems and ultimately, you know how to execute together upon a plan in season or during the offseason. That level of comfort and that level of familiarity is certainly a plus and a bonus for us, and we are looking forward to entering our third offseason cycle together.”


On what has he learned over the course of his career about personnel aligning with the coaching staff:

“I think it is a couple of things. No. 1 just zooming out, it really is just about problem solving and ultimately just trying to get the best perspectives really in the room or at the table to really solve the problem that you are trying to attack, whether it is roster or unrelated to the roster. It is really not too much more difficult than that. I think the execution of it is making sure that you are bringing the right and proper perspectives to the table and then ultimately listening and weighing in the right way depending on the problem that you are trying to solve.”


On comparing conducting the NFL offseason virtually to in person:

“I will say certainly for us and particularly to what I would call the spring scouting process, Zoom has really cut down on some of the things that we would have done in person or tried to do via travel, and that cuts down on both time and money. It makes you more efficient. That is something that we have incorporated into our process in the past two years and will continue to do this offseason. It allows us to get a little bit more bang for our buck.”


On how potentially playing under a fifth-year option rather than a long-term contract may impact Mayfield:

“I think No. 1, that is probably a better question for Baker. Just knowing Baker, I think he is pretty focused on the task at hand. One of the realities of professional sports is you have a number of guys across the league who may play with one year left on their deal so it is not like that is an exception for any individual player, and I think that can impact different players differently quite frankly. That being said, the guys in our building who have been in that situation have typically handled those circumstances well because at the end of the day, you only have so little time and you really do not have a lot of time to think about that. Certainly in season, your focus really has to be on your work and preparing so that ultimately you can perform on the field as well as possible, and when that happens and you are a good citizen off the field, that stuff takes care of itself.”


On if the Browns anticipate creating additional competition at the QB position this offseason:

“Probably a little bit to my response a few minutes ago, we really do look at it like it is an expansion team, and if we have opportunities to match resources with talent, we do want to continue to add talent to the roster. That applies to every position.”


On evaluating Mayfield, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and other Oklahoma QBs as pro prospects: 

“All of those guys that you mentioned were highly productive players at the highest level of competition in college football. Obviously, Coach (former Oklahoma and Southern California Head Football Coach Lincoln) Riley did a fantastic job in terms of developing that position at Oklahoma. All those guys, they are unique in terms of their skillset, but I think they were comfortable in their own skin, knew who they were and ultimately used their strengths to produce at the NFL level. I think that is actually a pretty good example that quarterbacks come in all different shapes and sizes and they have different skillsets so it is not a cookie-cutter approach.”


On if the Browns expect C JC Tretter to be with the team this season:

“Like I said for all of these situations on our roster, we work through them over the next couple of weeks. JC has been a real productive veteran for us. He has been a starter since 2017 for us and played a lot of really good football. We expect him to continue to play some really good football.”


On how the Browns’ draft preparation and player evaluation change depending on where and how many first-round sections the team owns:

“I do not know that the process changes significantly because largely, you are going to vet the entire draft class. As much as we like to think that we can predict how the outcomes are going to happen at the top of the draft, the reality is we are all guessing – we are making educated guesses. The importance of being prepared, being flexible and being able to pivot does not change whether you have one first-round pick or three first-round picks. If you are in a situation where you have multiple, really the thought and preparation before the draft comes in terms of strategy, whether you are going to select a player, whether you are going to turn one of those draft assets into multiple draft assets and ultimately how you may move up and down the board. I think that is probably where more of the time is spent based on the players who would probably be available in the ranges that you would pick high as opposed to the actual individual preparation regarding the current prospects.”


On reflecting upon the Browns’ first round of the 2017 NFL Draft:

“You look, (DE) Myles Garret is one of the best players in football. (TE) David Njoku has played really good football for us over the past five years. Obviously, (NY Giants S) Jabrill (Peppers) is no longer with us but has turned into a productive pro. That draft also produced an additional first-round pick. If you look in the totality of it, I think it is something that helped move the roster forward for sure.”


On if WR and DL are top priorities for the Browns entering this year’s draft, given the limited number of players currently on the roster at those positions:

“I would not necessarily say that they are a top priority. Obviously, we have to get more players under contract in both of those spots, needless to say. Ultimately, we are going to prioritize opportunity. There are a number of ways to assemble a team or construct the roster that ultimately allows you to reach your goal of winning games. We will take the next couple of weeks, and like I said, try and map our resources for opportunities.”


On the NFL Combine no longer including the Wonderlic:

“Quite honestly, we thought the Wonderlic was outdated. That is not something that really held a lot of weight for us. There are other cognitive measures that we use – I would not necessarily go into detail with what those are in this setting.”


On if the Browns have a vision for how they want to construct their WR room, including related to body types, speed or other skillsets:

“As many good players as possible.”


On the status of contract negotiations with Njoku and if Njoku could potentially receive the franchise tag:

“It is a good question. I think you know me well enough that those business considerations I will keep pretty close to the vest and in house. Any discussions that we have with players or agents, those remain confidential.”


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