In his most recent mock draft, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the Browns picking Oregon outside linebacker/defensive end Dion Jordan sixth overall.
It’s a change from Kiper’s first two mock drafts in which he had the Browns selecting Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. This time, Kiper has the Atlanta Falcons picking Werner all the way down at No. 30.
Here is Kiper’s explanation for pairing Jordan with the Browns in his latest mock, which was published today:
Pick analysis: The Browns had one of the worst pass rushes in the league last year, even with Jabaal Sheard around. Jordan is a long, explosive pass-rusher with freakish athleticism and an ability to work in space. This is a guy you want to unleash in a 3-4.
Free-agency factor: The Browns could be looking for some pass-rush help, but they won't find a player with better value than Jordan for their system. Yes, the Browns could still make a move for a quarterback, but I'm quite certain they won't use this pick for one if they can't add one via free agency or trade.
Last month, Jordan said he would undergo surgery on the torn labrum in his right shoulder at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine. The 6-foot-6, 248-pound Jordan said he expects his rehab to last three to four months.
“Dion Jordan has had trouble in keeping weight on, and part of the problem has been that shoulder,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said at the combine. “So if you want to like Dion Jordan, and I do — Dion Jordan could be an Aldon Smith-type of defensive player — but he has to put on 20 pounds. To do that, he has to get the shoulder right.”
On the eve of free agency, the Browns are desperate to add pass rushers to defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 multi-front scheme. They might secure solutions such as Paul Kruger of the Baltimore Ravens or Cliff Avril of the Detroit Lions in free agency, which officially kicks off at 4 p.m. Tuesday. But Jordan certainly can’t be dismissed as a logical target at this point.
At the combine, Jordan tied for third in his position group in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.6 seconds. He tied for fourth in the broad jump with a leap of 10 feet, 2 inches.
As a senior last season, Jordan missed two games because of his injured shoulder and compiled 44 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and five sacks, in 12 games. In 2011, he played in all 14 games and tallied 42 tackles, including 13 for loss and 7.5 sacks.