Browns Active in First Round, Get Their Guy Phil Taylor

You may not have known who Phil Taylor was, but the Cleveland Browns decidedly did.  After making a five for one swap with the Falcons for the Browns’ sixth pick, the Browns spent their third rounder to move up a few spots to get Phil Taylor.  That says a lot.  Instead of waiting for things to fall into place and just taking a chance that there was someone left that Tom Heckert and company wanted, they proactively got to a spot and grabbed a specific guy.  As I said at the beginning, whether or not you know who Phil Taylor is, you always have to feel good about the confidence of moving up to get a guy.  Well, unless you are spending a second rounder to move up one spot to take Kellen Winslow. Ahem. Butch Davis.

After the Browns traded their third rounder this year, their blockbuster with Atlanta now looks more like a four for one deal.  Just the same, the Browns know as well as their fans that they are more than one player away.  The Falcons, on the other hand, truly feel they are just Julio Jones away from the promised land.  I know for a lot of you this triggers fears that the Browns are in full-on rebuild mode and still won’t compete for a few years.  I don’t think that is necessarily the case.

I don’t think the Browns are confident enough to print playoff tickets or anything like that, but this trade in particular doesn’t signify that the Browns won’t be able to compete this season.  Even the best teams should do a deal like what the Browns did yesterday.  Certainly it was a very New-Englandian maneuver.  The only way to build and sustain a competitive team for the long haul is to load it up with young players who can ease onto the active roster over time at a fraction of the cost of a veteran free agent.  If Tom Heckert makes good on these picks, then the Browns should take huge strides toward youth and depth over the next two drafts.

Speaking of which, what will the Browns do today with their two second rounders?  Obviously you still have to think defensive line, cornerback, wide receiver and potentially even offensive tackle.  That is unless Mike Holmgren pushes his weight around again to select a QB, right? Just kidding. Kind of.  Maybe.  Honestly, I wouldn’t even be surprised to see the Browns take a decent running back prospect.  I’ll stop there with the speculation.  We’ll have a roundtable at noon on that very topic.

So the Browns get nearly 700 pounds of defensive tackle in the middle of their line.  Ahtyba Rubin is 24 years old and Phil Taylor is 23.  If Taylor works out and both stay healthy, you can pencil them in for at least the next five years stopping runners and clearing lanes for pass-rushers.  This is the day to dream about everything working out exactly to plan.  So imagine a Roethlisberger or Flacco sandwich with Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin as the bread.

Isn’t that a lot of fun?

  • Haas

    To be honest, I wasn’t sure about this pick. Everything that I was reading said he was more of a prototypical NT in the 3-4. But, the more you think abut it, that is a lot of weight to move up the middle. Hopefully this can give us our Williams wall that was the best DT tandem in the NFL.

  • stin4u

    I’m not sure how you pass on Bowers if he’s still hanging around. I wouldn’t mind a receiver but I would love for them to pick up a corner like Harris. Should be fun!

  • JNeids

    Anyone know a good hitman in Atlanta? If Matt Ryan has an accident and misses the season, Atlanta’s picks next year will be much higher than we could have ever expected…

  • bobby

    @1- Det has the best tandem is Fairley works out. But We could get up there.

    @ stin- definitely think Bowers is the guy right now. If he gets picked I would not mind getting Rahim Moore. But for now I have to think Bowers is the guy then maybe Rahim falls to them at the end or a guy like Harris or Ras I Dowling is there at the end. That would transform this D if these guys pan out. WR OT and RB then on the last day. Id be fine with that. Dion Lewis from Pitt could be a solid RB to grab even though hes more of the same of what we have.

  • JNeids

    Oops, “accident” was supposed to be in quotes. I’ll see you guys in 5-10…

  • bobby

    @ 3- Atl has to handle NO and a young TB team on the rise. Granted, they can probably pass right through TB, but NO is definitely the early favorite to win the NFC (in my book). Adding Ingram was huge. I was kind of hoping the browns would take him because hes just that good.

  • Slawdiesel

    Can we come up with funny nicknames now? Phil “The Tool Man” Taylor? Taylor + Hillis = Ying Yang Buffaloes?

  • Harv 21

    If (and only if) H/H are worried about Cincy taking AJ Green, think they have to take a corner with one of today’s picks as it’s so hard to find a decent one in the late rounds. I’m thinking LB and WR for sure today.

    They do need a RB, but not one with a total skill set, just good hands and dart with those short passes. And they probably will pick some QB, but that’s to keep Homgren amused and busy tinkering in his QB basement shop. So those positions can be last day picks.

  • TSR3000

    I don’t want them to take a WR today just b/c we need one. No more mediocre 2nd round wideouts. What about free agency?

  • mgbode

    @TSR – Desean Jackson was a Heckert 2nd round WR. We don’t have Mangini running the draft anymore (i.e. Cobb has that kind of explosive talent. be interesting to see if we nab him)

  • DC


    If we draft Cobb, he is immediately getting the nickname “Tex” right? I mean, how could he not?

  • saggy

    real quick note: if Kellen Winslow doesn’t destroy his body, he makes Antonio Gates look like a high-schooler. Sorry, but K2 was THAT good. It didn’t work out the way we all wanted but that dude was a freak with the best hands I’ve ever seen on a TE. Ozzie included.

  • Mark

    If the Browns look at D-line with both picks today, I would be thrilled. Switch one of those picks for a RT and that would make my day too. Gotta build the lines first.

  • saggy

    I’d love to roll the dice on Bowers, if we can. Otherwise, I am hoping for Brooks Reed, the CB from Texas, or Rahim Moore. THEN, I’d like to snag a WR with Atlanta’s pick. Maybe Torrey Smith, Hankerson, or Cobb is still there.

  • bobby

    I think Brooks Reed is highly overrated. A lot of things I read have him as a 4th round talent. I dont know why or how he is so high in mocks. I also think hes more of a 34 player, not so much a 43 DE. If we go DE and its not Bowers it should be Sheard from Pitt.

    I would more or less not want a WR in round 2, but if Cobb or Young are there when we pick late then I could understand. they fit the bill for a Heckert WR. Im holding hope that they find a way to get Rahim Moore, but I don think thats happening. I would gladly give up a 6th or 5th to move up if Moore is there halfway through the round.

  • Harv 21

    Interesting that if they grab Bowers today the D-line suddenly transforms from the biggest weakness to an area of strength. And few would have complained had they taken Bowers at #21 in round 1 and Taylor in round 2. I still think a WR will be grabbed no later than the 3rd round.

  • stin4u

    I really think they’ll need to address CB and WR today. I don’t see Bowers still being available to us the more I think about it. I just really hope the first selection is defensive and the second is a wide-out, depending on who is available.

    Also, perhaps if there is still some good talent laying around perhaps they package a 4 and 6 and move into the third round?

  • Ike

    “I know for a lot of you this triggers fears that the Browns are in full-on rebuild mode and still won’t compete for a few years.”

    There shouldn’t be any fears to trigger; it’s reality. The Browns ARE in full-on rebuild mode. There shouldn’t be any shame in admitting that, because anyone with a television can see that.

  • DJ

    Philthy Animal Taylor…in honor of the drummer for Motorhead in their heyday in the 70s and 80s (Ace of Spades, Overkill, etc).

    Love the pick.

  • Ike

    I love the pick. Can’t win in the AFC North if you can’t stop the run; Browns now have two young 330-pound+ DTs to work with, hopefully for the foreseeable future.

  • MattD

    I think Bowers is a perfect pick if he’s still available. However, that does put us in a little bit of a predicament for our second second rounder. Do we go with a guy like Gates at WR, or try for a solid CB? Chances are there won’t be that much talent in the fourth. I like what the browns did yesterday, but I’m still not sure that Taylor wouldn’t have been around at 27…

  • MarleyMoose

    Has more downside than upside.
    In five years had career stats of 16 TFL, 5.5 sacks and 1 FF
    yea i said CAREER not SEASON stats
    scouts takes “not a worker”, “questionable mental toughness”, “slow get-off”, “lacks any endurance”
    not to mention knee,ankle and foot problems, as well as multipule arrests
    his up side giant body, ideal size for a nose,very raw with good upside as a developmental player

  • Hamfist

    I am OK with the pick.

    With a solid middle, we’re going to force runs outside, and Haden and Ward will prove to be good tacklers. I still feel Roth would make an excellent rushing DE, he loves to go for the QB, and is a self described “terrible” coverage guy. He’s big enough, and fast enough to do the job. We also have Jayme Mitchell at the other DE.

    Benard, Fujita, DQJ, and Maiava can fight it out for the LB postitions.

    I am hoping for us to do what we need to pick up a good free safety. We move Ward to SS and there we are.

  • The Other Tim

    As the camera caught him on the phone I said, “Look how huge that guy is.” Then we picked him! I am weary of picking a guy based on his performance in one game. (Senior Bowl.) Any Cavs fans remember picking Johnny Morton based on his performance in the NCAA title game for Seton Hall. Anyone?

  • S-Dub

    All you nay-sayers, please read Terry Pluto’s scribbles on Taylor. I LOVE this pick STILL!

  • DerWooD

    Phil “The Mass” Taylor

  • mgbode

    @DC – as long as we play Soundgarden’s ‘Ty Cobb’ when he scores TDs, I’m good with any nickname for him.

    well, any nickname other than “Cobb Salad” (Vegas odds of Berman going to that well with him are at 2:7)

  • Bob

    If Bowers slips to us and they don’t pull the trigger on him I will be SO disappointed.