The Cleveland Browns have already undergone some major changes in the 2013 offseason, none bigger than the hiring of Rob Chudzinski as the new head coach. However, another major change is the hiring of Ray Horton as defensive coordinator, perhaps the best coaching hire in the NFL this season. The Cardinals new regime did not feel that Horton was right for the future of that defense, and so it is to the benefit of Chudzinski and the Browns that he became available and will now coach a defense that already has some talented young players.
Players like Joe Haden, Jabaal Sheard, D'Qwell Jackson, and Phil Taylor are the makings of an excellent core, but they could still use more talent on that side of the ball. In Arizona, MLB Daryl Washington became a sensational star for the Cards under Horton. Could he find another star like that in the 2013 draft with the Browns sixth overall pick? If they decide to go on that side of the ball, Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones might be just what the Horton ordered. Rob Rang of CBS Sports projects Jarvis as the number six pick in his latest mock draft:
As such, the team could be in the market for a dynamic pass rusher to fit new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's 3-4 scheme. Only concerns about Jones' health (he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2009) could push him down the board, as the 6-2, 240-pound outside linebacker was a dominant force for the Georgia Bulldogs, leading the SEC in tackles for loss (24.5), sacks (14.5) and forced fumbles (seven).
The 2013 draft is not light on pass-rushing and defensive line talent, and the Browns could wind up with a great pick for Horton and the defense. Georgia teammate Alec Ogletree will be another possibility. We already know that Cleveland has likely had a successful start to the offseason with their moves, but how will they improve upon that in the draft?
We'll find out in April.