As we inch closer and closer to the NFL Draft (only 79 more days!), more and more mock drafts are popping up every day. While players are shifting up and down in the top 10, the general consensus is that the Browns will go with a wide receiver or will turn their attention to the defensive line.
Two players that are popping up on many mock drafts for the Browns' pick in the first round are UNC DE Robert Quinn and Alabama DT Marcell Dareus.
All five of the six writers on FF Toolbox have the Browns going with either Quinn or Dareus. The site, which has extensive coverage on many of the draft prospects, has this to say about Quinn:
2/8 Update: If Quinn has continued to hit the weight room he should be a first round draft pick…and a high one at that. Quinn's weakness has also been his strength at the point of attack and he has really had a year to get ready for the NFL Combine and prove to everybody that he is still the explosive athlete that he was in 2009.
WalterFootball also has the Browns going with the Tar Heels defensive end. Defensive players make up four of the top five picks, with A.J. Green as the exception, and with Nick Fairley and Da'Quan Bowers off the table, Quinn is rated as the best available, but Dareus and Alabama's Julio Jones are also possibilities:
The Browns would love to land a top-tier weapon for the impressive Colt McCoy (A.J. Green). But if Green isn't available, Cleveland will almost certainly beef up its front seven.
If Green is off the board and Robert Quinn is available, Cleveland almost has to take him. With the move back to the 4-3, all the Browns have at the defensive end position is Matt Roth, who has played in the 3-4 in his entire career.
Quinn missed the 2010 season because the NCAA is ridiculously stupid, hypocritical and tyrannical. If Quinn had played, he'd probably be a consensus top-five prospect.
Don Banks over at SI.com also has the Browns going Quinn, with Dareus gong a few picks later.
The Browns' first-round pick is dictated by the five picks above them. Any of the first five can be swapped and slotted in, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the Browns will go with A.J. Green (if available) or any of Quinn, Dareus, Bowers or Fairley. With Patrick Peterson the other consensus top five pick in the mix, common math says that at least one of those five targets will be there for Cleveland when the sixth pick comes around.