After all of the cuts on Saturday, only 17 players across the NFL were claimed off waivers. Having the 10th position on the waiver priority, the Cleveland Browns claimed two of those players: DE Joe Jackson and DT Vincent Taylor. It shows that GM Andrew Berry had a vision to strengthen the team’s defensive line depth.
To make room for the two new players, Cleveland waived TE Pharaoh Brown and DT Eli Ankou.
Let’s quickly try to break down what we know about these players:
New Browns Players on Defense
- DE Joe Jackson (6-5, 258 lbs) - Jackson was a 5th round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. As a rookie last year, Jackson played in 5 games, registering 4 tackles. Jackson was Dane Brugler’s 23rd-ranked edge rusher in last year’s class, saying the following about him:
A two-year starter at Miami, Jackson lined up at right defensive end in the Hurricanes’ four-man front. He was consistently productive in his three seasons at Miami and was one of only seven active FBS players in 2018 with at least 24.0 career sacks. Although his take-on and placement skills are subpar, Jackson is a power rusher who wins with body-to-body combat. He flashes quickness, but isn’t a burst player and there isn’t anything diverse or creative about his rush sequence. Overall, Jackson rushes tall and stiff with little semblance of a back-up plan, but he is naturally powerful with the length and baseline traits to develop into an NFL starter in the right situation.
- DT Vincent Taylor (6-3, 306 lb) - Vincent was a 6th round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2017. He spent two seasons with the Dolphins before joining the Buffalo Bills in 2019. The most action he saw came in 2018, when he played in 8 games for Miami, logging 26 tackles and 2 sacks. If we dig way back to 2017, Dane Brugler ranked Taylor as he 14th-best defensive tackle in that year’s class, giving him the following assessment:
A two-year starter at Oklahoma State, Taylor was arguably the best interior defensive lineman in the Big 12 in 2016, leading the team in tackles for loss (13.0) and sacks (7.0). He checks boxes with his size, strength and athleticism for the position (and has a knack for blocking kicks), but lacks seasoning, displaying flashes on film and not enough consistency. Taylor tends to rely too much on his upper body to be effective, causing his pads to rise and negating his base strength. Although he offers intriguing pass rush potential, he is a different player from snap-to-snap and will require a strict positional coach. Taylor isn’t a plug-and-play option, but there is starting upside there if coaches can cultivate his talent.
Taylor earned strong PFF grades during his first two seasons:
Vincent Taylor earned strong grades over his first two seasons in the league:— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 2, 2019
2017 - 84.1 overall (185 snaps)
2018 - 76.3 overall (204 snaps)
*In that time Taylor racked up 28 defensive stops and missed just 1 tackle #Dolphins #FinsUp https://t.co/O0zAbQaSTZ
- The Giants and Panthers each claimed 3 players. The Browns were the only team to claim 2 players.
- The Browns had one player claimed off waivers — the Giants were awarded WR Damion Ratley.
- Our practice squad tracker is here.
- We are not sure yet which two players the Browns waived or placed on IR to make room on the 53-man roster. My personal guesses would be DT Eli Ankou and LB Mack Wilson (IR), but we’ll see. UPDATE: Ankou has indeed been waived, as one of the moves. UPDATE 2: TE Pharaoh Brown has also been waived.