The Cleveland Browns have struggled with various aspects of the game over the years.
On the defensive side of the ball, that has included a failure to stop the run, cover the opposing tight end consistently, and communicate successfully enough to keep wide receivers from running wide open across the field.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has been imported to solve those problems, and general manager Andrew Berry has addressed the situation in free agency with the signings of safety Juan Thornhill, defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, among others.
The Browns could still use another talented body at the defensive tackle position, which explains Dane Brugler’s thought process in his seven-round mock draft at The Athletic where he has Cleveland selecting Florida defensive tackle Gervon Dexter Sr. in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
So let’s dive in and take a look at Dexter, who the Browns recently hosted on a pre-draft visit, to see what he would bring to the
Gervon Dexter on the outside shoulder of the right tackle (5 tech). Watch how he reads the double team & gets on the inside of his feet to brace & hold at the point of attack. He anchors, reads the play, then sheds the right tackle once the guard climbspic.twitter.com/qsKj44q4wn— Anthony Cover 1 (@Pro__Ant) April 14, 2023
Name: Gervon Dexter Sr.
Position: Defensive tackle
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 310 pounds
College: Florida Gators
Stats (3 seasons): 38 games, 24 starts, 125 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions
Relative Athletic Score
Gervon Dexter also didn't have a good bench, but his #RAS didn't suffer much. pic.twitter.com/P1StRXAhFu— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
Average “Big Board” Position As of Publishing Date
70th Overall (NFL Mock Draft Database)
TDN Consensus Grade: 77.50/100 (Third-Round Value)
PFF Big Board Rank: 111
What an Expert is Saying
Just picture perfect of how to play the double team.— Cole Jackson (@ColeJacksonFB) April 18, 2023
Gervon Dexter Sr. splits the middle and maintains both blockers. He shows great lower body flexion in ankles and hips to drop his back knee, get skinny and slip it. pic.twitter.com/rOvZqmsekw
Pros and Cons
Do you like defensive linemen that are versatile with loads of potential? Then Gervon Dexter Sr. is for you, as The Athletic’s Dane Brugler points out:
His impact can be traced to his ability to leverage – he is a very different player when he utilizes his long levers to put blockers on skates as a pass rusher or anchor, stack and work the point in the run game. Dexter must develop a more disciplined approach to turn the flashes into more consistent play, but he is an agile, coordinated big man who has yet to play his best football. He is a traits-based projection who can play up and down the line, which will interest both even and odd fronts.
Are you concerned about defensive linemen who are unrefined (according to Pro Football Focus) and have technical issues that impact their play? Then you might want to avoid selecting Gervon Dexter Sr., as The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez highlights:
While Dexter’s size, speed, and athleticism allow him to make impact plays, there is an element of consistency that is lacking due to minor technical issues in Dexter’s game that have a large impact on his consistent effectiveness. One of the biggest issues that Dexter needs to work on is how high he plays. At the snap, Dexter raises up and it allows offensive linemen to have a large surface area to get great inside hand leverage on him, making it hard for him to disengage.
On plays where Dexter is doubled-teamed, this becomes an issue because he is constantly displaced and unable to maintain the line of scrimmage and affect the play. Another issue that presents itself consistently in Dexter’s play is the lack of a pass-rush plan. When Dexter doesn’t win initially with speed he becomes stagnant at the line of scrimmage and floats around the line of scrimmage instead of working to get QB pressure. In situations where Dexter is double-teamed, he becomes a stagnant rusher, failing to commit to a plan.
Browns Player Drafting Could Impact
Essentially every defensive tackle currently on the roster who is not named Tomlinson, a list that includes newcomers Maurice Hurst and Trysten Hill, and incumbents Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai, Perrion Winfrey and others.
Medium to High: Andrew Berry has been working this offseason to address the defensive tackle position, with Tomlinson being the top signing. Everyone else is basically just a placeholder until a better option comes along. If Dexter is still there where the Browns are on the clock, his potential may be enough for Berry to send in the card with Dexter’s name on it.