It is officially mock draft season across the NFL.
Yes, that includes the Cleveland Browns.
And yes, that includes looking at Mel Kiper Jr. mock draft projections.
It’s no secret the Browns will be looking for interior defensive line help as training camp approaches.
Whether they address that with the 44th overall pick or not is anyone’s guess.
Kiper Jr., however, thinks that’s the direction general manager Andrew Berry will go.
Kiper has the Browns taking DT Travis Jones out of Connecticut in the second round.
Is this a sound, realistic option for Cleveland?
Jonesing for a Defensive Tackle
His assessment on the former Huskies defensive tackle can be found below.
In his latest Mock Draft, @MelKiperESPN has the #Browns taking DT Travis Jones at 44. pic.twitter.com/aVgwJambJb
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) April 13, 2022
“Like the Colts, the Browns have just one pick in the first two rounds, and Jones would fill a need.The 6-foot-4 and 325-pound nose tackle can eat up space and allow the rest of the defense to find the football. He might end up as only a two-down defender; I’d feel better about taking him in Round 2 than in the top 32” Kiper said.
A big guy for an even bigger need is the thought process here with an emphasis on stopping the run.
Bleacher Report recently predicted a Browns trade for a defensive tackle as well (which we broke down on BrownsNation).
Clearly, those around the league have an idea of what kind of move the Browns might make soon, whether it be through the draft or a trade.
Both Grady Jarrett, the DT mentioned in the BR article, and Jones are more run-stopping specific players.
In our breakdown of the hypothetical Garrett trade, we looked at the current value of run-stopping DT’s and how they may be overhyped around the league.
Still, shoring up the interior is something the front office must do this offseason.
With his size, Jones projects more of a run-stopping threat.
However, he is more than capable of holding his own in passing situations as well per Pro Football Focus.
Making a case for the #Browns to pick Travis Jones at 44.
-PFF OVR GRADE 87.6
-PFF RUN DEF GRADE 86.4
-PFF PASS RUSH GRADE 85.1
-2021 Stats: 4.5 Sacks,48 tackles, & 7.5 TFL pic.twitter.com/eOgLNY3Ae7
— Down With The Browns Podcast (@DWTB_) April 13, 2022
Jones’ strength and size are what NFL scouts are raving about.
His initial quickness and technical work in the trenches need some fine tuning.
That’s not uncommon for second-round defensive tackles though. Jones slimmed down from the start of his time at UConn.
Getting his body more “NFL-ready” seems very possible once he’s in front of professional dieticians and strength coaches.
With his current size though, simply eating space on the defensive front is something he can excel at on day one.
He should help make stuffing the run a bit easier for the linebackers behind him, a group with concerns in their own right.
DL dominating early on just as it did during the practices. This time it’s UCONN’s Travis Jones stack and shedding UGA’s Jamaree Salyer to hit the RB in the backfield. #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/OCpDJxVmBi
— Tyler Wise (@TriggeredWise) February 5, 2022
With just one pick in the first two rounds, Cleveland wants to nail the 44th selection.
With multiple needs still, taking the best player available within those needs seems plausible.
If Jones is still around at 44 and the team likes what he could do for Joe Woods, Jones could be a Brown.
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