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.
The Cleveland Browns hosted Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick for a workout yesterday. Odrick is reportedly flying up the draft charts, and some Browns fans and commentators are worried that the Browns might take him with the 7th pick. Naturally, many of them are bringing up the Courtney Brown disaster.
I have no idea whether the Browns would draft him that high, but we need to keep several things in mind regarding the Courtney Brown comparisons. First, the men are not the same guy just because they went to the same school. That should be obvious, but logic escapes many fans when thinking about their team. Also, they are different types of players. Both are defensive linemen, but Browns was projected as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense where he would be counted on to get to the quarterback. Odrick would be a defensive end in the current 3-4 defense run by the Browns, and his responsibilities would be different. So, throw out all the Courtney Brown and Penn State references when considering whether the Browns would be making a good pick with this guy.
After trading for cornerback Sheldon Brown from Philadelphia, most people are assuming that the Browns won’t target Florida cornerback Joe Haden with their #1 pick. That’s probably a good assumption, but I still think Haden would be a good pick if Eric Berry is off the board.
I just watched an interview with Haden on ESPN. He definitely comes across as a good kid. He’s very articulate and seems to be very personable. When you’re picking someone in the first round, the last thing you want is a character problem. After dealing with Braylon Edwards the Browns are probably very sensitive to that issue. If this interview is any indication, Joe Haden shouldn’t be a problem in that area.
Football season won’t be here for a while, but Mark Schlabach has updated his pre-season Top 25 now that national signing day has passed. He has the Buckeyes at #7, which seems about right.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes suffered heavy personnel losses from the team that lost to Texas 24-21 in the Fiesta Bowl. Linebackers James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman, receiver Brian Robiskie and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins were seniors last season. Then tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells and receiver Brian Hartline decided to skip their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft. Terrelle Pryor should improve in his second season as a starting quarterback, and the Ohio State coaches feel confident about tailback Dan Herron, who filled in well when Wells was hurt in 2008. Pryor must become a better passer during the offseason, and the receiver corps will have to be rebuilt. There won’t be much time for the Buckeyes to jell, however, as USC will play in the Horseshoe on Sept. 12.
The Buckeyes are fortunate tha Mark Sanchez decided to leave USC for the NFL draft. It gives them a much better chance in the early-season showdown.
As a side note, what the heck is Brian Hartline thinking?