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Opportunity knocking for Larry Ogunjobi this week

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Starting role along the defensive line there for the taking for the second-year defensive tackle.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have spent considerable resources along the defensive line the past two seasons.

While the starting defensive ends are set with Myles Garrett Emmanuel Ogbah, the starting roles along the interior of the line are still in a state of flux.

That’s what makes this week a potentially important one for second-year defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who the team selected with the first pick of the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Ogunjobi is looking to build on a solid rookie season, especially now that the Browns opened up the nose tackle position with the offseason trade of Danny Shelton. That spot on the defensive line is where Ogunjobi believes he can make the biggest impact, as he told Nate Ulrich of ohio.com:

“[Playing nose tackle provides me with the] fastest way to the quarterback, really, a straight line. I’m a different type of nose. I’m not this space-eater. I can move. I can get in the backfield. There’s a lot of things I can do to just kind of make things harder on people.”

Even if Ogunjobi prefers to play the nose tackle position, injuries to defensive tackles Trevon Coley, out with a high-ankle sprain, and Caleb Brantley, who has been dealing with a slight thigh problem, could open up additional playing time.

And Ogunjobi does not want to waste that opportunity, according to clevelandbrowns.com:

“You always try to set yourself up for this opportunity, this moment to prove yourself. I don’t work hard to be second best; I work hard to be the best. Any opportunity that’s in front of me is my chance to seize it. You just have to go out there. My homeboys are hurt, but we still have to continue to raise the level of competition, continue to get better and just hold down the fort until our guys get healthy again.”

Ogunjobi will get his next crack at claiming that starting role when the Browns open the preseason against the New York Giants on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.