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Pompei: Browns Thought Long and Hard About Drafting a DE

I would not chalk this up as "big news" or anything like that, but in his Sunday morning column, Dan Pompei of the National Football Post had a nugget about the Cleveland Browns and their decision to draft a defensive tackle or a defensive end in the first round:

*The Browns thought long and hard about drafting a defensive end in the first round, and had a healthy debate about defensive end versus defensive tackle. The fact that they call the AFC North home helped convince them to take massive defensive tackle Phil Taylor instead of an end. They like the idea of pairing Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin against the Steelers and Ravens, power running teams that have controlled the division. They also hope being strong against the run will help them late in the year in cold weather games. It should be noted that new defensive coordinator Dick Jauron always has been a fan of big, physical defensive tackles.

Cleveland clearly committed to taking a defensive tackle with their first round pick prior to the draft, as the front office admitted that when they decided to trade down with the Atlanta Falcons, Phil Taylor was their guy the whole way. The uncertainty of defensive ends Da'Quan Bowers and Robert Quinn probably played a factor in their decision to go with a defensive tackle in round one. And, in the end, they still got a defensive end they seem to like in Jabaal Sheard at the beginning of the second round.