When the Cleveland Browns drafted Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard in the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, many fans felt discouraged and angry that the team did not pull the trigger on a top offensive talent for the upcoming season.
Fast-forward to Week 10 of the 2011 campaign and it is obvious to see that the Browns have nailed two defensive starters for not only this year, but for the future as well. More importantly, it looks as if one of them has the potential to become one of the best players at his position in the entire NFL.
Sheard has been impressive in a Cleveland Browns uniform ever since the first snap of training camp. The former Pittsburgh Panthers defensive end displayed more speed off the edge than the Browns have had in the last decade.
He has also matched up well against every offensive tackle put in his way. Sheard has had consistent success throughout the season and is seemingly always in the middle of every defensive stop the Browns have made this season.
The best thing about Sheard is the fact that no one in the Browns fanbase saw him coming or expected him to make such a solid contribution in his first season. Many fans found themselves either screaming at their television sets or staring in utter confusion when his name scrolled across the screen on the second day of the draft.
Now, Sheard is becoming a household name around Browns Nation and is building a reputation of being a very reliable defensive end.
Sheard has compiled a total of 27 tackles on the season, which includes his 2.5 sacks. Even though he will not be climbing the leaderboards in either category anytime soon, he is still producing better than Cleveland's first-round selection, Phil Taylor.
The Browns have been successful in the last few drafts when selecting defensive talent and players who are hungry to succeed. Sheard seems like one of those players that can be a solid option for many seasons to come and is continuing to help the Browns achieve one of the better defenses in the entire NFL.