Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer has a simple philosophy when it comes to building the team through the NFL Draft.
He just wants "to find good football players."
And the process of finding those "good football players" started in earnest at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this past week. Over an eight-day period, Farmer and the Browns had the opportunity to interview more than 300 of the best and brightest college football players and then, watched them participate in a variety of general and position-specific football drills.
"We just want to find good football players," Farmer said. "The reality is that we want to get the right guys for our football team and move forward. Specifically, at the top of the draft, we want impact players that can contribute right away, have long-standing careers, stay healthy, be products that the community can be proud of and the team can be proud of. If both of those guys are available, I'll take them."
And according to Farmer, he plans on being aggressive with the Browns' 10 picks, including two first-round selections, in the upcoming NFL Draft, which will be held May 8-10 at famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
"I am going to keep our resources as a premium whether it is trading up or down, whether it is a cry for more picks," Farmer said. "The No. 1 thing we want to do is improve our batting average and give ourselves more opportunities to go to bat. There are more players that you want on your football team."
When it comes to the evaluation process, Farmer really enjoys getting to "interact with the player" during the formal 15-minute interview sessions the teams are given to talk with a prospect at the combine. Farmer finds there is a lot of value in getting to know who a person is in addition to what he has shown on video.
For Farmer, experiences like the combine give him a chance to learn about a player's character, which he feels will be tested early and often on a football field.
"His talent will take him to a certain level, his character will allow him to sustain that level or take it up another notch," Farmer said. "We spend a lot of time and a lot of resources trying to figure out the person as we make those definitive answers as to, 'Do we like this guy? Do we want this guy in our building? Is he good for who we want to be? Is he good for our community?'
"I'll tell you this, it's hard to think that you're going to win football games with somebody that's not going to have a little dirt under their fingernails. They are all not going to be exact. They are all not going to be the best people from a lot of perspectives, but we're looking for the combination of people and talent."
LOCAL STANDOUT SHINES
Running back/wide receiver Dri Archer has been through his fair share of ups and downs while at Kent State University, but the former Golden Flashes standout hit another peak in his athletic career this week.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Archer ran a reported 4.26-second 40-yard dash at the combine, clocking the second-fastest time registered since the league began keeping records of the event.
MUEMA LEAVES COMBINE
Former San Diego State University running back Adam Muema would love to play for the Seattle Seahawks, but he took a different path to the NFL than most other players who were invited to the combine.
According to the U-T San Diego, Muema left the combine claiming that God told him he would get to achieve his "dream" of playing for the Seahawks.
Muema was invited to the combine after rushing for 1,244 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior for the Aztecs.