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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Browns to add pass rusher in first round?

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Could the Cleveland Browns add a pass rusher in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns were a much better team than many figured they would be this past season, with a defense bordering on elite and an offense that made more strides than projected. Still, they're picking at the top end of the 2013 NFL Draft, so they didn't make that big of a jump.

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But the draft will likely remain their primary source of improvement going forward. They've got a new coaching staff and have needs on both sides of the ball. Most figure they need to continue looking at the quarterback position, and most figure they need to add a pass rusher to help what is actually a rather strong secondary.

Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar collaborated on the latest mock from SB Nation on Monday, and they have the Browns taking the latter, drafting defensive end/outside linebacker Damontre Moore out of Texas A&M:

While Moore was a star as defensive end in 2012, his first two years at A&M as an outside linebacker. The Browns need pass rush help, as they move to the 3-4 defense. Moore could be lined up opposite Jabaal Sheard and quickly give Cleveland a pair of linebackers that can rush the passer and stop the run.

The Browns have Joe Haden in their secondary, but he can only do so much when they don't have much pass rushing to speak of. They improved in their run defense in 2012, but they really do need someone to get after the quarterback to take some of the pressure off the secondary.

Moore would fit that role well, and is arguably the top pass rusher in the draft. It's certainly possible he'd be there at No. 6 and it looks like a smart pick altogether.

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