On Tuesday, the Cleveland Browns sent a late-round 2012 draft pick to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for fifth-year defensive end Jayme Mitchell, according to league sources.
Mitchell, a former college standout at Mississippi, signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He registered four sacks in his first two seasons before missing all of 2008 with a knee injury. Mitchell returned to play in five games in 2009 and the season opener of 2010, where he logged another sack.
Listed at 6'6" and 285lbs, Jayme Mitchell is a big, physical player with a load of potential. With names like Jared Allen and Ray Edwards on the Vikings' roster, Mitchell found himself in a backup role, but the move to Cleveland could allow him to realize his potential.
Mitchell is big enough to play defensive end in the Browns' 3-4 defense, but with a 40 yard dash time under 5 seconds, he is also very quick for a man of his size. That combination of size and speed might mean that he could see time at outside linebacker, especially as a pass rusher. That type of versatility is something that head coach Eric Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan absolutely love, and Mitchell will probably find himself on the field sooner, rather than later.
So far this season, the Browns have needed to get creative in order to generate much of a pass rush, often sacrificing members of the secondary in order to get to the quarterback. The addition of Mitchell could provide a traditional pass rushing presence to complement Matt Roth and Marcus Benard, who have combined for 4.5 sacks through four games.
The trade for Mitchell could continue the trend of the Browns finding talent deep on the depth chart of other teams. QB Seneca Wallace and man-beast Peyton Hillis led the Browns to their first win of 2010 this past Sunday, and have helped make the team much better than it was this time last year. Before arriving in Cleveland, both Wallace and Hillis were in backup roles with the Seahawks and Broncos, respectively.