That's right, in a mere four days, the Browns will finally be making that first-round selection we've all been obsessing about predicting.
With a spring full of Pro Days and team visits completed, it's pretty much all over but the waiting.
Now that it's safe to say the Browns have pretty much all the information they're going to get on potential draftees, it's time to take one last look at few of the players the Browns have been actively showing interest in.
The following eight are just a few of the players the Browns have shown interest in for their first-round pick. There are obviously a number of others who might be on the Browns' radar in Round 1, but these eight appear to be among the leading candidates.
As always, your opinions are highly valued, so please share your thoughts on the 10 players discussed in the article in the comments below!
(Author's Note: Because this is not a mock draft, players are not necessarily ranked in the order which I would predict they would be drafted).
North Carolina DE Robert Quinn is a player who has been on the Browns' radar as a possible first-round choice all Spring.
He's bounced on and off of the first round of Browns' mock drafts as debates rage over whether Quinn is good enough to merit a sixth-round pick and whether or not it is smart to draft a player with a benign brain tumor.
That Quinn has first round talent isn't questioned much; for the Browns, it's more of an issue with whether he merits a sixth-overall pick.
To me, Quinn is possibly the best DE who will be left on the board when the Browns make their selection (assuming Marcell Dareus is already gone), but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the right choice in the sixth spot.
The Browns have actively pursued Quinn through the Spring, so obviously they have some serious interest in him.
The question is whether they're interested in him in their current No. 6 spot, or whether they would only want him if they were to trade down.
Quinn's stock went up in the Browns' eyes when the wheels started to come off of DE Da'Quan Bowers (discussed in a later slide). Still, he's got a lot of red flags.
Quinn missed his entire season last year for a suspension. In addition to the character issues implied by that, the Browns have been left wondering whether he has enough of a track record of success given that he's missing a year of college experience to ensure he's worth a first-round pick.
Adding to the potential risk factor is that Quinn has a brain tumor. Thankfully, it is non-cancerous, but it has caused him problems in the past, and is of course the sort of health issue that no one can guarantee won't ever be a problem going forward.
Quinn has shown he has huge talent and did a nice job on his Pro Day this year, but from where I'm sitting, he's a risk at No. 6.
It's probably best if the Browns only act on their interest in Quinn if they are able to trade down to a lower slot in the first round to take him.
Georgia WR A.J. Green is undoubtedly first-round talent, and probably a top-five caliber pick.
The Browns, having needs at WR, logically showed serious interest in Green this Spring.
Obviously it made sense for the Browns to do this, given they could use his services and he's a good enough player regardless of position to motivate any team, whether they have serious needs at receiver or not.
But the fact that Green is a top-notch talent at a position where the Browns are not exactly top-notch is not necessarily an indication that he would be the right choice for the Browns.
First of all, there's a good chance this is actually a non-issue, as it's pretty likely Green will be off the board before the Browns pick anyway.
Second, and perhaps more important, the fact that the Browns need some help at WR doesn't mean it makes sense for them to draft one in round one. You all know my feelings about drafting WRs in the first round in general so I'll spare you a reprisal of that rant.
The fact that Green is legitimate early first-round talent might lessen the chances he'll be a bust, but it doesn't change the fact that the Browns would be burning their top draft pick on a position that shouldn't be that high of a priority.
Green's talent would obviously be an asset to the Browns, but it wouldn't go as far toward improving the team overall as some of the other first round options would. Green is the best receiver in the 2011 Draft, but he's not the best choice for the Browns in round one.
Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers was once a very popular first-round pick for the Browns in early mock draft installments.
A few months ago, Bowers looked like he could be both the best DE in the draft aside from Dareus and an excellent choice for the Browns at No.6.
But as the draft drew nearer, Bowers' stock began to drop. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say it began to plummet.
Bowers had a knee injury that teams were aware of during his last year of college but not necessarily deterred by entering draft season.
Teams initially took Bowers at his word when he said he was fine, but quickly began to question him when he showed signs of trouble in Spring workouts and canceled his original Pro Day date.
No one doubts Bowers' talent, but the knee raised huge red flags. The Browns interest in him leveled off after the flood gates really opened on his knee issue, as well they should have.
While Bowers could be a tremendous asset if he's healthy, the question of whether it's realistic to expect that he will be is serious enough that he isn't worth risking an early first round pick on. While Bowers might be a good gamble later on in the draft, knee problems and all, he's absolutely not a good choice at No. 6.
Auburn DT Nick Fairley caught the Browns' eye early in the Spring and has kept their attention all the way up to the week of the draft.
While the other DEs and DTs that the Browns initially showed some interest in all turned out to have some serious issues, Fairley has remained an attractive possibility for the No. 6 pick.
The Browns could certainly use help at DT, so much so that it's easy to justify spending a first-round pick there, and Fairley is about as good as they come at his position.
The Browns' need for a DE was a much more often discussed issue that their need at DT, so it hasn't gotten as much attention or provoked as much chatter among the Browns faithful.
That doesn't mean, however, that their needs at his position are lesser or that he's not a good fit at No. 6.
Realistically, the Browns may need just as much help at DT as they do at DE. And regardless of that, Fairley is probably more worthy of the No. 6 pick than most of the DEs expected to be available at that point.
He's been impressive throughout college and throughout the draft evaluation process, and he has no major red flags pinned on him.
The bottom line for Fairley is that if the Browns choose to spend their first pick on improving their defensive line, he's probably the best choice they could make.
When it comes to the possibility of the Browns' selecting LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson with the No. 6 pick, there are two schools of thought.
The first is that Peterson is the best choice for the Browns because he'll likely be the best player on the board at that point.
The second is that CB is not one of the Browns biggest needs, and thus it doesn't make sense for them to spend their first-round pick there.
Both sides have a good argument; there is always something to be said for taking the best player on the board, but there's also a lot of merit in putting your first pick toward a position where your team is seriously weak.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that it is always best to take the best player on the board unless there is someone else there at that slot who is nearly as good and fits one of your team's biggest needs.
At this point, I'm not sure I see a player who fits that criteria in this draft who is as likely to be on the board at No. 6 as Peterson is.
The Browns' interest in Peterson is undoubtedly merited, and while there is some risk that taking him means they'll be passing on a player at a position where they have a greater need, there's very little risk involved in Peterson as a No.6 pick in general.
He will, without a doubt, be a good enough player for the Browns to be worthy of their first-round selection if they decide to go in that direction.
In addition to Patrick Peterson, the other first-round caliber CB the Browns have shown interest in is Nebraska's Prince Amukamara.
There's been debate over which of the two would be the better choice if the Browns decided to select a CB in round one. Most see Peterson as the more talented player, but there is a also a good argument for Prince in that he's nearly as good and is the smarter player.
While CB is not a position where intelligence is as revered at as, say, quarterback, there's some logic to the theory that it's always best to focus on the most intelligent player regardless of position.
There's a stereotype that football players, as a rule, are dumb. With very few exceptions, that simply isn't true. And that goes for players at "non-skill" positions as much as it does for quarterbacks and such.
Still, the fact that Prince has been noted for his intelligence doesn't necessarily make him a better choice than Peterson. If you believe he is at all significantly less talented than Peterson (and some people do, some people don't), then the quality of his intelligence probably isn't enough to warrant selecting him over a more talented player.
Further, while Prince gets a lot of credit for his smarts, no one is saying that Peterson is exactly stupid.
The decision ultimately comes down to whether they're close enough in skill to warrant using Prince's brains as the deciding factor.
And of course, all of that is moot if you think the Browns should focus on a position where they have greater needs than they do at CB.
Aside from A.J. Green, Alabama's Julio Jones is the only receiver whose name has come up as a possibility for the Browns in round one.
While Jones is really no match for Green in terms of skill, he is probably a more realistic possibility for the Browns if they choose to go with A WR in round one.
The chances that Green will be gone by the time the Browns pick has been noted over and over. Jones, on the other hand, will almost certainly be gettable.
That being said, he's probably not an appropriate pick at No. 6. Setting aside the fact that I don't think it's a good move for the Browns to go with a WR in Round 1 in general, even if they do decide to go that route, they would be unwise to spend a No. 6 pick on Jones. He simply doesn't project worthiness of being drafted that high.
Jones has a lot of skill to be sure, but he's also got some notable shortcomings as a receiver. I won't detail them here, but suffice it to say that he doesn't look like a guy with the talent to merit a No. 6 pick in my opinion.
If the Browns decide they want to select Jones, it would have to be in a trade down scenario. Jones can certainly claim first-round talent, but not early first-round talent.
Texas A&M LB Von Miller drew the Browns attention as a potential first-round draft pick early in the evaluation process, and they've been keeping an eye on him ever since.
The Browns have liked what they've seen from Miller at his Pro Day and his visit. Unfortunately, so have a lot of other teams. That means Miller could be tough to get at the No. 6 spot. Very tough.
Like A.J. Green, the Browns can only afford to pursue a player like this to a certain extent when they know that there's a good chance he'll be gone before they make their first selection.
The Browns don't seem to have backed off too much (as is also the case with Green), but they're surely not putting much stock in actually being able to grab him.
Still, he's definitely worth their attention if there's even the slightest possibility they might be able to land him. Both he and Green could fall to the Browns given the needs at quarterback of several of the teams selecting before them, so they're correct to keep him on their radar.
Further, the Browns were probably even more correct in pursuing him despite the fact that he might not be available than they are in pursing Green, given that the Browns could probably benefit more from a top-notch LB than from a top-notch WR given the style of their offense and defense and the caliber of the incumbents at both players' respective positions.
It's not unreasonable to think that Miller could be available at No. 6 (some mocks even have him going significantly later in the first round than that), and if he is there at No. 6, he's a player the Browns should give serious consideration to when making their first round choice.