2. Taven Bryan was the best Browns defensive tackles. Is that good?
We all know that Myles Garrett was the Browns sack leader with 16, but can anyone identify who the number two pass rusher was last season as measured by total sacks? If you guessed Taven Bryan with three, you would be absolutely correct. Several Browns were able to total two sacks on the season, but basically the pass rush was simply Myles Garrett and a bunch of guys. Bryan was a little better than the rest of them at applying heat.
At 6-foot-5 and 291 pounds, doesn't Bryan grade out as a 3-4 defensive end? Instead, he's an undersized defensive tackle who for some reason was drafted in the first round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. His speed and quickness give him an advantage for rushing the passer as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, but most coaches really want a plus-sized dude to play defensive tackle to plug up the center of the field. If Bryan goes to a 3-4 team - like the New England Patriots - he might really turn out to be a very good player.
The Browns had great hopes that Jordan Elliott and Tommy Togiai were going to develop last year as they had had time to internalize the defensive playbook and to achieve better physical strength and conditioning after a year in the league. However, those hopes did not materialize. The center of the line was porous versus the run, and generally it was the linebackers and strong safeties who had to step up and repair the damage.
Rookie Perrion Winfrey showed some football talent, but also had some talent for getting in trouble off the field. If he can get his house in order he might have the best chance of replacing Bryan.