If the season started on Thursday morning the Cleveland Browns wouldn’t have had a defensive line. Two days later the have added two quality starters and may have done more to upgrade their defense than any team in the league.
Phil Taylor will be the anchor of the Browns defensive line
Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard may not be sexy picks, but they’re exactly what the Browns needed. Both will start from day one, and they compliment each other well. Taylor is a space eater, much like Shaun Rogers. Sheard is a pure pass rusher, who will team with Marcus Benard to give the Browns a nice pass rush duo.
And of course the best move of the draft was the pick they didn’t use.
The Browns got a king’s ransom from the Falcons in exchange for the 6th overall selection. One of those picks was used on North Carolina receiver Greg Little, who will be given an opportunity to start and could eventually develop into a true No. 1 receiver. And most importantly, they added a 2012 1st rounder.
I’ve been a huge fan of Phil Taylor since I saw him play for the first time earlier this season. I believe he is a true nose tackle in every sense of the word and deserves to be a 1st-round pick. I currently have him as my 4th-rated defensive tackle, ahead of some much bigger names such as Marvin Austin, Drake Nevis and Allen Bailey.
Based on the reports out of Mobile, it sounds as though others are starting to fall in love with Taylor as well. Here’s what others are saying about Taylor as the Senior Bowl:
Shane P. Hallam – DraftCountdown.com - ”He wasn’t ripped and didn’t show a six-pack like many of the other players, but he carried his 337 pound frame EXTREMELY well. You would never guess he was that heavy, but he still has the size to eat up space”
Scouts, Inc. – “[S]howing great feet through the bags for a 6-4, 337-pounder.”
Tony Pauline – DraftInsider.net - “The massive interior defender ate up double-teams and clogged the middle of the line. He also displayed a very nice swim move while rushing the passer.”
I currently have Taylor going to the Chiefs with the 55th pick in my most recent mock draft, but that could certainly change if he continues to impress this week. He would be a great fit at nose tackle in Kansas City, and potentially could end up as a 1st-round option for them if his stock continues to rise.