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ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay released their second mock drafts of the year the other day, and both of them are projecting the Cleveland Browns to take a defensive end with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Kiper: "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."
I don't know who McShay had the Browns taking in his first mock draft, but he has a new face, compared to what we've seen so far, going to Cleveland in his second mock draft:
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
McShay: "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."
At the beginning of January, I was not very warm to the idea of the Browns taking a defensive end. A month later, though, a defensive end for Cleveland is starting to make sense by virtue of circumstance. The Browns hired Ray Horton as their new defensive coordinator and will need a flexible guy up front. They also released starting defensive end Frostee Rucker the other day, and Juqua Parker is a free agent. There is a vacancy at that starting defensive end position, presumably.