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Haslam gets advice from homeless man: 'Draft Manziel'

Cleveland Browns draft pick Johnny Manziel is congratulated for becoming the 22nd pick in the NFL draft Thursday night. (Associated Press: JASON DECROW)

The Associated Press

5/9/2014

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns owner and truck stop mogul Jimmy Haslam received the help of a homeless man to decide who the Browns should select as their second pick in the first round of the National Football League draft Thursday.

So, after an agonizing two-hour, 45-minute wait in the green room, Johnny Manziel is now a Cleveland Brown.

And apparently he's got a homeless guy to thank for his new gig.

Manziel's fall through the ranks (at one time it was believed he might be the first player picked) was one of the early stories of the draft, and once he was picked, ESPN cut to Sal Paolantonio in Cleveland with one heck of a strange story. According to Paolantonio, Haslam, who is also CEO of Pilot Flying J, received guidance from an unlikely source.

"Here in Cleveland, everywhere I go, people know me," Haslam told Paolantonio. "I was out to dinner recently. A homeless person was out on the street. He looked up at me and said, 'Draft Manziel.'"

And that's all it took, apparently, to convince Haslam that Browns fans wanted Manziel. Cleveland.

Oh, and that wasn't all. The Browns' Twitter feed was a little too excited to announce Manziel.

It announced he was the 22th pick of the first round.

Perhaps Haslam should seek out that homeless man and offer him a job as a proofreader.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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