2013 NFL Mock Draft: Browns to bolster defense early?

USA TODAY Sports

Will the Cleveland Browns look to address an offensive need, or go with the best player available and likely take a defensive player at the top end of the 2013 NFL Draft?

The Cleveland Browns can't quite count themselves among the NFL's elite, but they did much better this past season than many expected. Their defense is really coming along and they added some exciting players to their offense, even if quarterback Brandon Weeden might not be the quarterback of the future.

For more on the Cleveland Browns and their 2013 NFL Draft needs, go to Dawgs by Nature .

Still, despite playing better than expected, they still have a top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. They're picking at No. 6, and they have an opportunity to add yet another young, exciting player. Do they go with a defensive player to bolster that unit and make it their strength, or will they go with the offensive side of the ball?

Dan Kadar of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday, and he has the Browns strengthening their defense, taking outside linebacker/defensive end Barkevious Mingo out of LSU.

New defensive coordinator Ray Horton was blunt last week stating the Browns are playing a 3-4 defense and not a hybrid scheme. With that, Cleveland needs to add a pass rush threat at linebacker. If that's where they go in the first round, the pick should be between Mingo and Jarvis Jones. Mingo gets the nod due to his pure upside. He's the kind of player who will win the offseason process and test out well at the NFL Combine and his pro day.

Cleveland already boasts a strong pass defense with Joe Haden at cornerback, but adding a guy like Mingo can only help things up front. Cleveland will run a 3-4 defense, and Mingo can stand up and rush the passer on every single down.

Getting to the quarterback can only make things easier on that pass defense, and it also would fit the model of "best player available," which is generally considered to be the winning strategy at the top end of the draft.

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