The Browns had a lens trained on Myles Garrett for more than a year, hoping they'd somehow land the star defensive end from Texas A&M in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown, who gave a wide-ranging interview on Mike & Mike on Thursday morning, outlined the process behind making Garrett the first-overall pick.
Brown said Cleveland long coveted the dynamic edge rusher before ever learning it would hold the No. 1 pick.
"Myles really was the guy that, from the start of the football season and prior to that, we had our eyes on and were watching," Brown said. "Obviously we didn't know we'd be in the No. 1 position at that point, but a guy that really since he entered the SEC as a freshman had lit the league on fire."
Garrett, who amassed 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss in three seasons at Texas A&M, figures to emerge as an immediate playmaker on a Browns defense that finished 31st among 32 teams in sacks last season.
Brown said Cleveland reached a consensus to take Garrett at No.1 "a couple weeks before the draft" after "just taking in the information and making sure that we were sure about everything."
"We have a lot of discussion internally in our building really pushing on things really even if there's consensus, we really push on those types of decisions to make sure we're not overlooking anything," Brown said.
"The bigger thing for us was whether there was going to be some activity to try to come up and get him. We obviously were prepared for those scenarios, but we felt much better taking the player."
Before that, Brown, head coach Hue Jackson, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry put Garrett through a rigorous workout roughly a month before the draft.
"We did some up-downs. We did some pass-rusher drills. We went over some bags, just get your blood flowing and what gets you ready for practice," Garrett said this past weekend. "We ran a 200. I guess he had me run down, run back warm-up, stretch then went through the bags and that was pretty much it."
It re-affirmed what the Browns saw on tape and at the Combine in March, where Garrett put on a show of elite power, speed and strength.
As the Draft drew closer, the Browns listened to proposals from several teams looking to move up. None of their offers, though, could match the potential they saw in Garrett, whom they believe can be something of a generational type of talent on the league's youngest roster.
"There were some teams that called, but we really felt good about Myles," Brown said.
"The reality is where we are on our roster, we need guys that we can rely and we feel great about and who change and transform positions groups on our teams and Myles we felt like was that."