How good was the Cleveland Browns' first-round on Thursday? While many fans seemed to have an initial hostile reaction, things turned out very well for Tom Heckert and company. Peter King noted earlier that the only player the Browns would have stayed at No. 6 overall for was A.J. Green, who was taken by Cincinnati at No. 4 overall.
Forget about the fact that the Browns lost a third round pick in moving up to draft Baylor's Phil Taylor. Let's take a look at the "net" gain for Cleveland, considering players like Marcel Dareus, A.J. Green, and Patrick Peterson were off the board:
- They got Phil Taylor at No. 21 overall, who fills a need on the defensive line
- They now have two second round picks instead of one
- They lost a third, but they now have two fourth round picks
- The icing on the cake is that next year, the Browns have two first rounders and two fourth rounders
Over at Dawgs By Nature, we took a greater look as to why the way things unfolded last night made for an "excellent" first round for the Browns. Heckert praised Taylor for his ability to stop the run, something that is always important in the AFC North. Heckert shot down any rumors of Taylor still having character or injury issues too. For the criticism Taylor received for not being an every-down guy, he certainly played a lot more than Nick Fairley did.
Also at Dawgs By Nature, one of the writers took a look at a favorable defensive scheme the Browns could run that would make fans very happy.
As we look toward the second round, one of the hot topics will be whether or not the Browns take a flier on defensive end Da'Quan Bowers. Most mock drafts had him being the Browns' first-round draft pick at No. 6 overall a couple of months ago, but his injury concerns caused him to fall out of the first round. The Browns took Montario Hardesty last year in round two despite his injury history; could they do the same with Bowers?
Cleveland has two second-round picks for Friday, as the draft starts at 6:00 PM EST.