Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 2/8/13
With ESPN’s resident draftniks releasing their second iterations of their 2013 NFL mock drafts, the Cleveland Browns continue to be pegged with having a strong focus on a pass-rushing linebacker. Mel Kiper Jr did not waiver from his first mock draft, placing Florida State’s Bjoern Werner as the next big thing to wear Orange and Brown. The Browns regressed on defense in 2012, and the pass rush was a culprit. This was, by every standard, a bottom-10 unit, and they simply need to add talent. If they want the best player available at this spot, and a guy who fills a void, it might be Werner by the time we get to April. In fact, by then he could be expected to go higher. A late arrival to football, he has a high ceiling, but already has a decent portfolio of pass-rush skills. What’s great about Werner isn’t just the explosiveness as a pass-rusher, it’s also his awareness. He keeps his eyes up and disrupts passing lanes. He’s a good fit for the Browns. Todd McShay, conversely, has Werner being selected second-overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In turn, he gives the Browns a player on whom many fans have set their collective site: LSU’s Barkevious Mingo. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton will run a versatile scheme that likely will employ a base 3-4 front, and while the Browns have good depth along the defensive front they need more talented edge rushers. Mingo fits the bill. He is raw, but is the fastest, most athletic edge rusher in the class and could be part as a disruptive perimeter duo with Jabaal Sheard. The 6-foot-5-inch Mingo has drawn heavy comparison to San Francisco’s Aldon Smith due to his physicality and tenacity. There are, however, questions about his technique. Kiper has him being selected 10th overall by the Tennessee Titans. Kiper continues to have Gerogia’s Jarvis Jones being taken one spot before Cleveland while McShay him sliding past Cleveland and landing in New York with the Jets who select ninth. [Related: Cleveland primer for new athletes in town]
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