The Cleveland Browns are very interested in interviewing Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin for their head coaching vacancy, according to league sources, and are expected to hire Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator.

The Browns, who shocked the NFL by firing head coach Rob Chudzinski after one season, have interviews scheduled with several coaches, but, according to league sources, are doing arduous legwork on Malzahn and Franklin, and are very intrigued by them.

Some believe Malzahn is actually the most likely of the group to land the position, though the process is still very much in its early stages.

Malzahn, who will compete for the national title next week, is viewed by some as the candidate who has most captured the imagination of the organization right now, and, while he has flown under the radar of most NFL coaching searches to this point, he is very much under consideration by the Browns.

Malzahn coaches in the SEC, which Browns owner Jimmy Haslam follows very closely as a Tennessee booster. This season Malzahn's Tigers beat Alabama, coached by Nick Saban, who is held in very high regard by the Browns front office.