Get ready. It's on.
Months of sniffing around draft picks, and weeks of trade speculation have come to this. With a few hours to go before the NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns remain at the seventh spot in the draft. The three players they really want, Robert Gallery, Sean Taylor, and Kellen Winslow, remaining tantalizingly just out of reach. Tim Couch and Dennis Northcutt remain members of the team by contract.
A lot could change in the coming hours. Or, nothing could change. Like on game day, anything could happen.
We know that the Browns have had conversations with every team in the draft ahead of them. We know that the Browns have made a number of packages available to both the Chargers and Raiders. They were still trying to pry the pick away as of last night. We know that neither team has accepted an offer.
Today's daily newswire presents a number of stories which attempt to work around the dearth of actual news. Tony Grossi's contact inside Berea is telling him that neither a quarterback selection or a trade down are likely. Pat McManamon reveals that the Browns had continued to discuss QB Mike McMahon with the Lions, using picks as trade bait, and then reversed field, telling the Lions that they needed the picks to move up.
A more complicated trade scenario involves the New York Giants dealing with the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers would find themselves at number four, and would then deal with the Browns, winding up at seven where they could still take Philip Rivers, the QB they really like.
A number of stories this morning are suggesting that the Browns, if they can move up, have Kellen Winslow, Jr, ranked right ahead of Sean Taylor. A close examination of the newswire reveals a number of other players that the Browns have been circling, e.g., Jason Babin, Lee Evans, J.P. Losman, all of whom had been mentioned with the Browns on this site over the past few months.
After today, though, the speculation, rumors, and fog machines can shut down for a while.
Yours truly will be heading down to Bunkers Bar and Grille shortly for the Bernie's Insiders Draft Day get together and will be posting updates from there through the Browns selection. Remember to join us in the chat room, which per usual will be off the hook today.
This draft is one of the most crucial in recent memory. Butch Davis' legacy may hang in the balance. There are a few hours to go, and nothing is written in stone. Let's rock.