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The Cleveland Browns Select Phil Taylor In The First Round - Should Fans Be Happy?

In a surprise move the Cleveland Browns moved up 6 spots to pick DT Phil Taylor with their first pick in the draft.  The Browns had vacated their 6th pick earlier in the draft to move down to the Falcons pick 27.  To move up the Browns gave up their 3rd pick which is pick 70 overall.  Point wise this means the Browns gave up 240 points of value to gain 120 points.

With some higher rated defensive ends on the board which seems to be a bigger need, the Browns must have a very high opinion of Taylor.  Taylor is a mountain.  At 6-3 and 334 lbs he is easily one of the biggest defensive linemen in the draft.  He has very long arms which is always a great asset for an interior lineman.  He is a monster against the run and a pretty good pass block penetrator.  He has a better motor than many tackles in this draft but he carries a lot of weight and struggles to maintain his play weight.  Taylor did have a few character concerns in his past having been involved in a campus fight.  There are also some concerns about his work ethic in practice and in weight management.

Taylor is a run stuffer and at this he excels.  He is an excellent athlete and is well suited to a division that often features the run with the likes of Rashard Mendenhall and Ray Rice.  Taylor was likely to be picked in the first round but it seems unlikely that the Browns needed to move up to take Taylor.  The pick seemed to leave commentators at the draft at a loss for words.  It seems Browns fans will have to repeat their mantra of "in Heckert we trust" and hope that Taylor is a difference maker off the bat next season.