Cleveland Browns: Scouting The Top 20 Offseason Defensive Linemen For 2011

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Cleveland Browns: Scouting The Top 20 Offseason Defensive Linemen For 2011
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Despite an already much-improved level of play this season, there will still be many holes for the front office to address in the coming months in Cleveland.

The defense this season compared to the last has been night and day, with a lot of weak spots that have been filled during the 2009 offseason by free agent pickup Scott Fujita, trade acquisitions Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown and 2010 draft class members TJ Ward and Joe Haden.

One area that wasn't addressed however is potentially the most important area of a 3-4 defense, the defensive line. The emergence of 2008 late round draft pick Ahtyba Rubin has been a bright spot, as the nose tackle should be around for years to come. Along with him, Shaun Rogers has been efficient in his limited use, but the remainder of the line has been largely aging and ineffective.

Interesting prospects on the line currently are former-Viking Jayme Mitchell, practice squad retrieval Brian Schaefering, and unknown youngster Brian Sanford. While possibly great depth, impact linemen are needed to tie up all five offensive linemen moving forward, if any pass rush is to be generated.

So what options are available this offseason?

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