Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Rounding up Cleveland's visits
By Tim Kavanagh
The No. 6 overall selection -- currently in the possession of the Cleveland Browns -- is believed to be one of the more wide open spots in the Top 10 of the draft. If particular players fall to that spot -- one of the top LTs for instance -- the pick will become very valuable, as teams lower in the order will be interested in jumping ahead of the Arizona Cardinals (picking 7th). If the Browns hang on to the pick, they could go in a number of different directions as the club makes the adjustments necessary for Year One of the Rob Chudzinski era. As with any other team, the slate of pre-draft visits provides another clue as to which direction they're leaning (or want everyone to think they're leaning).
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that on Monday and Tuesday of this week, the club is hosting five of the draft's top prospects: QB Matt Barkley, DT Sharrif Floyd, DE Ezekiel Ansah, CB Dee Milliner and Oregon OL Kyle Long. In addition to these five, the team has visited (or is scheduled to visit) with OT Eric Fisher, OLB/DE Jarvis Jones, DT Star Lotulelei, OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo, WR Tavon Austin and OLB/DE Dion Jordan.
The DTs in this group would make their way to one of the Browns' DE slots in the 3-4, and that might seem superfluous given the presence of Ahtyba Rubin. But as noted by colleague Brent Sobleski, Rubin's cap hit jumps to $8.175 million in the final year of his deal in 2014 (via spotrac.com), so reinforcements for the future are certainly needed; this makes the selection of Floyd or Lotulelei more likely (if they're still on the board at that point).
In Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest mock, however, Jordan was the pick:
Mel Kiper Jr.Kiper's two-round mock
"Really like this fit. I've noted before that the Browns had one of the worst pass rushes in the league last year. Jordan is a long, explosive pass-rusher with freakish athleticism and an ability to operate effectively in space. This is a guy you want to unleash in a 3-4. I think between getting him on the field and Jabaal Sheard making strides, the Browns can take a big step forward up front."