Browns position outlook: Defensive line

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
3:00
PM ET
2014 Free agents: None

The good: The Browns have the makings of a serviceable 3-4 line -- provided Mike Pettine and Jim O'Neil do not change the system. Phil Taylor showed he can be disruptive, and Ahtyba Rubin continues to give full effort on every play. There is depth here too, which is always needed with a three-man line (assuming it does not change).

The bad: Taylor needs to be in better shape so he can be disruptive on every play. He has Casey Hampton-like potential but was often taken off the field. No 3-4 lineman can play every play, but Taylor could play more than the 47.4 percent he played in 2013.

The money: Desmond Bryant's $8.175 million salary cap figure might make some teams shudder, but on a team with $40 million in cap space his cost can be carried -- provided the Browns believe he will produce.

Draft priority: It's rare that a 3-4 lineman makes a huge impact given the requirement to play two gaps. But players like Pittsburgh's Brett Keisel and Hampton are out there to be had. Any competition via depth that is added at this position is welcome.

Previous positions: Quarterback, running back, receivers, tight end, offensive tackle, guard and center.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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