Without a doubt the Cleveland Browns pulled off one of the best draft day trades in recent memory. They allowed the Atlanta Flacons to over pay them for their first round pick (5th) overall. Even though it looks (on paper at least) that they overpaid to move back up to 21st overall to get NT Phil Taylor, they apparently did so because that was the guy they wanted in the first place. Their trade with the Kansas City Chiefs had a difference of 120 points according to the NFL trade value chart for draft picks and that was the highest margin in the 2011 draft (involving only 2011 draft that is).
However, new defensive coordinator Dick Jauron needed a nose to begin implementing his new 4-3 defense. This was a team very thin along the D line anyways as the said goodbye to Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman in February. That along with the switch to the four man front has opened up a big need. I think we will see the Cleveland defense take a step back before taking a big step forward somewhere down the road.
Transitioning between defenses is a tough thing to accomplish, but the Browns are attempting to do it with fresh personnel, which by the way is the correct way to go about it. Taylor and second round pick DE Jabaal Sheard will be counted on to start from day one, and this team will have to look to a veteran free agent to play the other end spot leaving one of their own veterans to play the other tackle spot.
Hopefully this team chose wisely because both of their first two draft picks will need to play a large role in the success of this team moving forward.
- Cleveland Browns War Room
- Joshua Lobdell.com