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Mike Mayock: Cleveland Browns' NFL Draft Needs Include a DE/OLB at No. 6

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall.
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call with the media on Monday. The conference ended up lasting around two hours, with the transcript around 22,000 words in length, but a couple of the Cleveland reporters on call managed to squeak in a few questions.

Q. "When it comes to the Browns and number six, do you think there is a guy worthy of six? I know you talked about it a little bit earlier, but do you think there is a guy worthy of six for them who would be an upgrade over Brendan Weeden? Or do you think they'd be better served going defense considering they're switching schemes again?"

Mayock: "I think I'd be more comfortable if I'm the Browns at the linebacker position, trying to upgrade that at six, because I think I'd probably get a player worthy of that. Whereas, at quarterback, in my opinion, I'm reaching. I don't have a quarterback that I think can go before No. 20. Those two quarterbacks Geno Smith and [Matt] Barkley to me are 20 to 32 at best -- bottom third of the first round. I'm not a proponent of any quarterback at number six for Cleveland. I think you get the best player you can get, and it's probably going to be one of those defensive ends or outside linebackers."

Q. "Which of those defensive ends or outside linebackers would you think would be the best fit for the Browns at six?"

Mayock: "I think it's Jarvis Jones. I'm not as big on Bjoern Werner at six or Damontre Moore at six. Other people will be, but I'm not. I think that Jarvis Jones is the guy, as long as he checks out medically, whose value is commensurate of the sixth pick."

Mayock was later asked if the Browns would be better served forgetting about the quarterback position this year, in relation to the draft. It must have slipped Mayock's mind that the Browns do not have a second-round draft pick after using it in the supplemental draft last year on wide receiver Josh Gordon, because Mayock began discussing "what if" scenarios of Matt Barkley falling to No. 6 in the second round, or the Browns considering a trade-up from that spot near the end of the first round. If that were to happen, Cleveland would have to fork up draft picks in 2014, and I think that's the last thing we want to do right now.

Still, Mayock felt that quarterback, at the very least, should not be the Browns' first priority, come April. A reporter followed up asking about potential third-round quarterbacks (or later) for the Browns, and two names came to mind for Mayock:

Mayock: "Right now, if I'm [Cleveland], I've got to get the best football player I can get at six and start thinking about a quarterback later on, if it makes sense. ... If Tyler Wilson were there in the third round, maybe you're looking at him. Tyler Bray, the Tennessee kid has huge arm talent. But there are a lot of questions about the kid, and he could be available in the fourth round. But I'm with you unless someone rated pretty highly slides down somewhere, I think you're looking at a positional draft here."

Lastly, going based off of a tweet by Brenden Leister of, Tony Grossi is the person who asked Mayock about how he sees Ezekiel Ansah projecting as a 3-4 outside linebacker. A few days ago, DBN's Mike Krupka broke down the possibility of selecting Ansah in depth. After you have read that, here is what Mayock said about Ansah:

Q. "Could you comment on Ziggy Ansah, and do you see him projecting as a 3-4 outside linebacker?"

Mayock: "That's a good question. I couldn't wait to see him at the Senior Bowl. I thought he had an average week of practice, and in the one on one pass rushing drills, defense should dominate and he didn't dominate.

He was a guy that was so long, so athletic, so gifted. I just think he's so raw sometime it's can't come out. I don't think there is anybody on the in the NFL that doesn't think he's going to be a good player. But the question is when? Is it this year, next year or three years from now?

And really what you're determining and building the answer of that question is going to determine what you think the value of the kid is. How quickly can he become a really good player? Can he be Aldon Smith this year? Because he's got those kind of skills. It just has to come out of him.

Now can he play 3 4 outside linebacker? He's so gifted, some teams are looking at him as a 3 4 outside linebacker while other teams are saying with that frame, he could be 290 [pounds] and be a 3 4 defensive end.
So it's kind of interesting. Teams are looking at him a 4 3 end, a 3 4 outside linebacker, and a 3 4 end. You can't say that about many kids and it goes to his unbelievable athletic ability and huge frame.

I'm willing to bet on the kid. I think he's going to go earlier than later. When you get these kind of guys, and [Jason Pierre-Paul], he's way more raw than JPP was a couple years ago. People want to use that comparison, but he's not there yet. But I think he's going to become a good player."

There you have it. I have all of Mayock's conference call transcript in front of me, so if anyone wants to know if he discussed a certain player, let me know in the comments section below and I will dig up what he said about them.