A couple of weeks ago, Jimmy Kempksi of Philly.com looked at whether or not player weight only contributed to a team having an effective run defense. He looked up the heaviest projected front sevens in the NFL, and then compared those weight totals to the team's run defense from the previous season (which is a bit tricky to compare due to the possibility of new players being in the system, but we'll play along).
The Browns are projected to have the 4th heaviest front seven in the NFL this year with a combined weight of 1,959 pounds, or 279.9 pounds per player. Cleveland's average would have been a little heavier had ILB Craig Robertson not been so light (note: Chris Kirksey, at 233 pounds, wouldn't have made a big difference). Here are the individual weights of Cleveland's projected front seven:
Phil Taylor - 335
Ahtyba Rubin - 330
Desmond Bryant - 290
Paul Kruger - 270
Jabaal Sheard - 255
Karlos Dansby - 250
Craig Robertson - 229
The Browns had the 18th-best run defense in the NFL last season, a figure that seems like a travesty given how dominant the team's run defense was before the final couple of weeks of the season. When you look up and down the rankings, though, there is no clear cut correlation between the weight of a front seven and a team's run defense.
(One other note: if you go by the weights listed on Browns.com, the Browns' front seven totals 1,989 pounds, good for 2nd in the NFL)
What do you think, Browns fans? Do you think being heavy is a necessity for a successful run defense, or are there too many other factors to consider?