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Which pass rusher can the Browns get in the draft?

Prepare to hear the names Bjoern Werner, Jarvis Jones and Damontre Moore quite a bit inn connection to the Browns leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft. All are excellent pass rushers, and regardless of the type of defense the Browns end up running, they’ll probably be targeting this position as one of their priorities heading into the draft and free agency.

In early mock draft, we saw Moore’s name in connection with Cleveland at #6, but now he seems to be rising as Mel Kiper has him going #2 to the Jaguars. Meanwhile, Kiper now has Werner going to the Browns:

I’ve heard Werner compared to J.J. Watt, and while he’s not nearly at Watt’s somewhat extraordinary level, and doesn’t yet have the size to work primarily inside at this point, in terms of his great awareness as a pass-rusher, there might be something to it. Not only does Werner provide immediate impact as a pass-rusher, like Watt, he defends the pass with his eyes and gets his hands up, disrupts passing lanes and swats away throws. A late arrival to football, he has a high ceiling. He’s an ideal fit in Cleveland, a team that saw the defense regress in 2012.

Sounds like a good fit!

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Mel Kiper’s potential draft scenario for the Browns

Trent Richardson. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Mel Kiper has a new post in the ESPN “IN” section (subscription only) where he sets out a potential “Grade A” draft for each team. He does it without any duplicates.

I like this scenario for the Browns, as I love Weeden and Richardson. I also like Cordy Glenn at 22 as he would solidify right tackle and help give the Browns a very tough running game.

That said, the Browns desperately need another receiver, so I would probably prefer the best available receiver at 22 and then get some right tackle prospects in the 3rd or 4th round.

Top needs: QB, RB, WR, RT, CB, OLB

Rd 1 (4) RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
Rd 1 (22) T/G Cordy Glenn, Georgia
Rd 2 (37) QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St.
Rd 3 (67) CB Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette

Analysis: Richardson is simply a home run at No. 4. You rarely say that about a running back taken so high, but he has such a high floor as a prospect — the only downside is injury, and that’s such a perpetual issue, one that extends far beyond the running back position if you’re looking close. Glenn is a versatile player who Cleveland will move to right tackle. He can be dominant as a run-blocker and has great initial pop, and with his presence, Joe Thomas on the left side and Richardson in the backfield, Cleveland has to feel pretty confident in an upgrade for the ground attack. Weeden is capable of pushing Colt McCoy right away (he’s a few years older) and could be a steal. So he’s older — if the Browns get 6-8 good years from him, will anybody really care? Bentley is a nice piece at corner, where the team can use some help, even though I consider this a pretty good secondary.

Will James Laurinaitis get drafted in the first round?

james-laurinaitis-2

Once thought to be a possible top-10 pick, James Laurinaitis has seen his stock fall a bit leading up to the 2009 NFL draft. Anthony Stalter doesn’t have him going in the first round, so there’s a chance that Laurinaitis might fall to the Browns in the second round. Neither does Mel Kiper.

Todd McShay has Laurinaitis ranked as the 32nd best player in the draft, and he has him going to the Rams in the second round, just ahead of the Browns pick in that round.

I think he will be a very solid pro player. He won’t dominate, but he’ll excel if he’s part of a good defense. I hate the thought of him going to the Steelers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots snag him.

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