Cleveland Browns Storyline No. 3: Which defensive tackle will separate themselves from the pack?
Cleveland took a volume approach to solving their defensive tackle room. Andrew Berry added a litany of defensive tackles in the hopes that the sheer number would produce quality depth through competition.
One month into training camp and the defensive tackle room remains as muddled as the day camp started. Free-agent signee Malik Jackson is the lone exception. Jackson solidified his position as a starter early on in camp.
Now, with only one preseason game and a handful of practices remaining before roster cuts, the Browns need to decide which three or four defensive tackles to pair with Jackson. The Browns have to pick from the following: Sheldon Day, Andrew Billings, Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai, Marvin Wilson, and Malik McDowell.
Day has impressed in practice as well as the few preseason reps he has received. Billings has been underwhelming and seemingly out of shape. Elliot has been inconsistent at best. Both rookies, Togiai and Wilson, have flashed at times but have not shown that either is ready for prominent roles.
Then there is the intriguing McDowell. He has rare physical traits that no one else in the defensive tackle room can match. In last week’s preseason game, McDowell was seemingly unblockable against the Giants third-string offensive line. The big man should be in line for plenty of reps early this Sunday night.
This final preseason game could go a long way for whichever defensive tackle, if any, is able to show out. While there is upside in the room, whichever DT can show their floor is solid will most likely find themselves on the final 53.