The Cleveland Browns first big move this offseason was the addition of DT Dalvin Tomlinson through free agency. With a gaping hole in the middle of the defensive line, adding Tomlinson was the first of many changes for new DC Jim Schwartz.
Through NFL free agency, the Browns added Trysten Hill and Maurice Hurst to the defensive tackle room and signed Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and traded for Za’Darius Smith at defensive end. The NFL draft brought in Siaki Ika and Isaiah McGuire to the line as well.
There has been some question as to how Cleveland would use Tomlinson. For his career, six seasons, Tomlinson has only accumulated 13 sacks but has 37 quarterback hits and 26 tackles for loss. Pro Football Focus has graded him as a better run defender than pass rusher in each of his past three seasons.
Given his basic stats and PFF grades, it would make a lot of sense for the new Browns interior defender to be lined up as a nose tackle/1-technique defensive tackle. In that role, taking on blocks and pull rushing the center and guard are the primary responsibility.
The defensive tackle/3-technique role is generally reserved for the quicker, pass-rushing style interior player.
This Browns training camp video gives an indication that Schwartz sees Tomlinson as a 3-tech as he is aligned outside of the guard while Jordan Elliott is lined up inside of the guard near the center at the 1-tech:
Watching the video through we see Tommy Togiai (1-tech) and Hurst (3-tech) as the second string, Ika (1-tech) and Michael Dwumfour (3-tech) up next with Trysten Hill getting his rep as the 1-tech as the video stops.
Looking at that group, it makes sense why many Cleveland fans want the team to add another defensive tackle to the room. With Perrion Winfrey’s departure, an already thin group got a little thinner.
What do you think about Tomlinson as a pass-rushing 3-technique despite having very little sack production so far in his career?