Grading the First Round of the Browns' 2011 NFL Draft

The Browns made a lot of noise in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but not in the way most of us anticipated. Rather than settling for a player who wasn’t on their wish list, the Browns decided to trade down and acquire a boatload of picks, thanks to the Atlanta Falcons.

A move like that – trading one selection to gain four more (including a team’s 2012 first round pick) – was huge for the Browns, who are looking to add bodies all over the field. Naturally, a big playmaker like, say, Julio Jones would be have been a big pick, but the team has a much bigger need for depth at a number of positions.

In that trade, the Browns switched 2011 first round picks with the Falcons, getting the 27th overall pick. The team then moved up to the 21st overall pick – trading their 2011 third round pick in the process – to select former Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor. An exciting pick? No, but a necessary one, that’s for sure.

With the Browns’ switch to a 4-3 defense, they are in desperate need of bodies up front. Taylor addresses that need and will be vital in stopping the run. Additionally, the Browns secured two more picks in 2011 and two in 2012 by trading away that sixth overall pick to the Falcons. For a team that is in need of players, it was a golden move and exactly what the Browns needed.

With the maneuvering that took place and the selection of Phil Taylor, the Browns have to be given an A for their first round effort. Taylor will be asked to make an impact early and the Browns’ actions in this year’s draft have already secured another first round pick for 2012. How can fans not be excited about that?

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Tags: 2011 Atlanta Falcons Cleveland Browns Julio Jones NFL Draft Phil Taylor

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