That great silence from the North? It's coming from Cleveland.
The team's disappearing act during free agency has pockets of the fan base scratching their heads. Others trumpet general manager Tom Heckert's commitment to bypassing overpriced veteran additions to build through the draft, where the Browns hold the No. 4 pick -- widely considered the linchpin of the first round.
What Cleveland does here remains shrouded in mystery. Expect the switchboards in Berea to glow hot with trade offers, but the Browns are overdue for some star power, and might want to stay put.
So which way, Cleveland? Assuming the Vikings grab offensive tackle Matt Kalil at No. 3 (and that's not certain), here are four likely scenarios at No. 4:
1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: Not exactly an original thought, but perhaps the most logical. One big problem with the Browns: Philosophically, they want to build through the draft (a good thing), but find themselves playing catch-up, having lost Peyton Hillis to the Chiefs in free agency. Reliable safety Mike Adams was snatched up by the Broncos, as well, and right tackle Tony Pashos was released, leaving the free-agency-challenged Browns with holes to address. We get it, Hillis wore out his welcome with the team, but he surged at the end of last season, and it's distressing to look at who's left: Montario Hardesty, Chris Ogbonnaya and Brandon Jackson. Leaning on Hardesty as a 16-game starter will kill this team. His durability is a screaming red flag, and when he's played, nothing here makes you forget about the days of Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner. Richardson is a complete back -- some compare him to Eric Dickerson -- a three-downer who catches the ball would be invaluable in Cleveland's offense, which led the league in pass attempts under 10 yards last season. If picking a back this high feels like a stretch, the Browns have fallen into this position. If they pass on Richardson, Tampa Bay becomes a logical landing spot at No. 5.
2. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Outside of Braylon Edwards (and the mega-headache that accompanied him), you could argue the Browns have played without a bona fide No. 1 wideout since returning to the league in 1999 (Kevin Johnson, Quincy Morgan -- my apologies, you did your best). Blackmon, teamed with Greg Little at No. 2 (if he can tone down the drops) gives Colt McCoy a nice pair of targets alongside Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs. The Browns will likely field calls from the Rams and others for the right to pick Blackmon, and the troubling history of Big 12 receivers crumbling in the NFL shouldn't sway teams. Blackmon's going to make some NFL quarterback exceedingly happy.
3. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: There's been chatter about the Browns pulling the trigger on Tannehill (much of it inside walls of NFL Network). It's a stretch at No. 4. Despite the team's public support for starter Colt McCoy, pursuing Robert Griffin III represented a rare opportunity. It's hard to make an argument for selecting Tannehill just two spots later. Those rushing to push Colt off the plank shouldn't look past the talent vacuum surrounding him. If the Browns do pick Tannehill, it means Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden will see his stock shoot through the ceiling.
4. Shop the pick: We know the Browns aren't against it. The team listened to offers Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting, and after taking the Falcons to town in a draft-day trade one year ago, stockpiling picks (they already have 13) doesn't conflict with the team's M.O.
If the Browns do none of the above, Mike Holmgren and Heckert will be asked for a convincing explanation.
The fourth pick has become a well of intrigue. Give us your thoughts on what needs to happen with the pick. The Browns, of course, aren't listening to any of this, but that can't stop us from speculating.