The Cleveland Browns had a capable pass rush in 2012, finishing tied for 11th in the NFL with 38 sacks. However, by releasing defensive end Frostee Rucker to save cap space, they have made their pass rush a need that must be addressed. Perhaps that was all part of the plan, as the 2013 draft class has a number of good pass rushers that will be available at the sixth pick.
ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay released updated mock drafts last week, and both of them had the Browns taking a defensive end in the first round. However, the they part ways when it comes to which one the Browns select.
Kiper has the Browns taking Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner at sixth overall.
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.
McShay also has Cleveland selecting a defensive end, but he has them taking 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.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar released his latest mock draft on Monday, and like Kiper and McShay, he has Cleveland taking a pass rusher. However, he has them taking Texas A&M's Damontre Moore.