The merry-go-round continues for what the experts think the Cleveland Browns will do with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft. WR or DL, WR or DL, WR or DL? For ESPN's Todd McShay, the choice is simple: Alabama's Marcell Dareus.
In an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer yesterday, Tony Grossi pointed to the hiring of Dick Jauron and the recent roster cuts as evidence that the Browns are looking squarely at the defensive line for their first round selection. And McShay agrees.
"[He] has a little durability concern, and he had the two-game suspension," McShay said on a conference call. "But when this guy's going and he's 100 percent, he's as disruptive as any player in this draft.
"He's strong, a lot stronger than people think ... has great awareness. He's not as big or athletic as Fairley, but he might be a more complete player when he's 100 percent. He can play the 3-4 or a 4-3 for teams going back and forth ... like Cleveland that want to do different things up front.
"He's a good fit. Bottom line is he can get after the quarterback, he can disrupt and is a lot stronger than people give him credit for."
Look, we've been through this. A.J. Green or any of the top three to four defensive linemen are fine with me. And McShay has a point that Dareus is a terrific player. He doesn't have that sheer "takeover" style that Nick Fairley has, but it's not like Dareus is a slouch as an athlete.
The Browns need a pass rusher. And chances are Fairley will be off the board anyway. Dareus fits that need, is versatile, and simply put, is about as good as the Browns are gong to get at this pick if they're looking for a defensive tackle or end.
At the same time, flashes of Gerard Warren and Courtney Browns flash through my head. Using a top ten pick on a defensive lineman that isn't the consensus No. 1 at his position can be a scary thought. It's taking the risk that this guy's game will translate easily to the NFL. And for every Ndamukong Suh, there is a Dewayne Robertson or a Steve Emtman. But that doesn't mean Cleveland should look to a skill position like CB or WR just because of the risk factor. Their biggest need, first and foremost, is pass rusher. So if A.J. Green is gone, Dareus makes sense.
I just hope I can get the shudders of thinking about Big Money or Quiet Storm out of my brain now.