The annual SB Nation Writers Mock Draft is in progress over at Mocking the Draft, and while Patrick Peterson was not on the board, not all was lost in the grand scheme of things. These were the picks that were made prior to the Browns being on the clock...
(In parenthesis is the average voting rank given on Mocking the Draft by voters -- 1 = F; 2 = D; 3 = C; 4 = B; 5 = A)
Carolina: QB Blaine Gabbert (3.38)
- Denver: LB Von Miller (3.39)
- Buffalo: CB Patrick Peterson (4.36)
- Cincinnati: WR A.J. Green (4.27)
- Arizona: QB Cameron Newton (2.93)
With the sixth overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle, Alabama.
Why the selection? And how did the voters score my pick of Dareus up to this point? Find out after the jump...
For all intents and purposes, the Browns only have one confirmed starting defensive lineman as they switch to the 4-3 alignment next season – defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. The Browns cut ties with veterans Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman, so they could get younger and faster on the defensive line as soon as possible. Dareus fits that bill, and pairing him with Rubin is a great move because it solidifies the inside with two players who, combined, can stop the run well and generate a decent pass rush. Dareus also feels like a more secure pick than Nick Fairley and Da'Quan Bowers given their character and injury issues, respectively. As far as defensive end goes, Cleveland can hope to find a stud in the later rounds or amongst some of their pass rushing linebackers from last year's 3-4 defense, including Marcus Benard and Matt Roth.
The Mocking the Draft users voted the Dareus pick a 4.66 out of 5, which would be the only selection could enough to make an "A" right now.
You may discuss the pick here, or at Mocking the Draft. Either way, be sure to visit Mocking the Draft to read my full reasoning in choosing Dareus. In case you're wondering, last year I picked Eric Berry in the SB Nation Writers Mock Draft.