After a trade with the Atlanta Falcons, the Browns selected Baylor DT Phil Taylor with the 27th overall pick. I would give Cleveland a B+ only because Taylor addresses a critical need in a new 4-3 defensive system.
To make things more interesting, anticipated first-round Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers is still on the board.
Bowers will most likely still be available when the Browns pick at 37th, and here's why...
Picks 1-4 in the Second Round, Why Bowers Will Be Available
New England Patriots
Robert Kraft probably won't draft Bowers only because he's not a 3-4 defensive end. The Patriots still have Ty Warren awaiting his return from a season-ending injury, too. Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure is the big name to watch for from the Patriots, as the team might be looking for more consistency and a featured back.
Marcell Dareus was chosen in the first round, and since the Bills have major offensive line problems along with quarterback inconsistency, Bowers likely won't be picked. Ryan Mallet won't be around for long and he's an intriguing option for the Bills.
Even more than the Bills, the Bengals need a quarterback. With the team now switching to a West-Coast offense, Andy Dalton figures to be a significant name. First-round pick WR A.J. Green is going to need someone to deliver him the football in order to fulfill his elite status.
The team has already addressed the pass-rushing aspect of the defense with LB Von Miller, who will accompany Elvis Dumervil when attacking the quarterback. Denver runs a 3-4 defense anyway, so the need for Bowers becomes even slimmer. The Broncos will be interested in offensive help for Tim Tebow and maybe a cornerback in the coming rounds.
Bowers' Value and Possible Impact for Cleveland
Although Taylor is a defensive lineman too, Bowers will be able to bring pressure off the edge. Quarterback pressure was the single biggest problem for this defense in 2010.
In addition, because the Browns have switched to a 4-3 to begin 2011, Bowers won't have to make any changes to his blitzing technique. He tries to replicate the fierce nature of his former mentor Gaines Adams, who also played at Clemson.
Bowers will quickly make Taylor a better defensive tackle, too. Both of these rookies can grow together and will rid the possibility of double-teams if they feed off each others' strengths. Once Taylor begins to force opposing offensive lines toward the middle, Bowers will have better rushing angles to the quarterback.
The question remains of whether or not Bowers is damaged goods, but considering his high first-round projections, the Browns can get much more of a reward as opposed to taking a big risk by drafting him.
The second day will be very interesting, but one thing's for sure: Cleveland will continue to address its major needs.
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