Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the Cleveland Browns, at No. 6 overall.
With the sixth overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle, Alabama.
Chris Pokorny of DawgsByNature.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Browns, and checking out Dawgs By Nature for all of your Browns needs.
Chris Pokorny explains: It was difficult to see Patrick Peterson and A.J. Green drafted in front of the Browns. Defensive line might be the biggest need that Cleveland has, but I think this class is deep enough that quality linemen would have still been available in the second round. With that said, after seeing the top two players on my draft board disappear, it isn't like I will be disappointed by the team grabbing an elite defensive lineman here in Marcell Dareus.
For all intents and purposes, the Browns only have one confirmed starting defensive lineman as they switch to the 4-3 alignment next season – defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. The Browns cut ties with veterans Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman, so they could get younger and faster on the defensive line as soon as possible. Dareus fits that bill, and pairing him with Rubin is a great move because it solidifies the inside with two players who, combined, can stop the run well and generate a decent pass rush. Dareus also feels like a more secure pick than Nick Fairley and Da'Quan Bowers given their character and injury issues, respectively. As far as defensive end goes, Cleveland can hope to find a stud in the later rounds or amongst some of their pass rushing linebackers from last year's 3-4 defense, including Marcus Benard and Matt Roth.
Dan Kadar reacts: It would be a fortunate situation if Dareus is still available when the Browns pick. Pokorny is spot-on with his analysis of the team's roster. And while there is depth at defensive line, there won't a player anywhere near as good as Dareus in the second round. In addition, Dareus would help give the Browns scheme flexibility. While the team is committed to the 4-3, having Dareus would allow them to naturally run 3-4 sets on occasion. Tradition, fair or not, also shows that the Browns never really draft "sexy" players early especially well. In this instance, mean and nasty should trump sexy. [Marcell Dareus Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|3||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||scouting report|
|4||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||scouting report|
|5||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||scouting report|
|7||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||scouting report|
|8||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama|
|7||San Francisco 49ers|
|14||St. Louis Rams|
|17||New England Patriots|
|18||San Diego Chargers|
|19||New York Giants|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs|
|24||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|