Browns fans rejoice; training camp is right around the corner. On July 27th, practices will officially begin in Berea. But as with every team, the Browns staff has some serious questions to answer. Who will emerge from the quarterback competition? Who will impress fans, or conversely, disappoint them? Although only time can tell, there is one positional battle that every Browns fan should be paying attention to. That battle is over the four starting spots for the Cleveland Browns defensive line. Let’s take a look at each candidate.
Sorting Out the Cleveland Browns Defensive Line
Let’s start with what we know about Mr. First Overall, Myles Garrett. First off, he dominated in college, despite a pesky injury during his third year. Hopefully, for both fans and Garrett himself, he can work past that. As of right now, he looks totally fine. Some analysts and scouts have called him “one of the best prospects ever,” so he had better pan out, right? Browns fans are desperate for a truly dominant player, and hopefully, Garrett really is that good. Garrett will likely start for the Browns in 2017 at right end.
Near the end of last year, Emmanuel Ogbah started to show those flashes. For the most part, his rookie season was…alright. But going down the final stretch, Ogbah really came through for the Browns defensive line. Racking up 2.5 of his total 5.5 sacks in the last four games of the season, Ogbah really turned it on. Without a doubt, he’ll be fun to watch this year. Ogbah will likely start for the Browns in 2017 at left end.
Mark my words, Danny Shelton is primed and ready to break out. Much like Ogbah, Shelton showed some serious flashes last year. However, he showed them throughout the entire season, not just the final four games. At times, it looked like he was about to explode. Shelton will be entering his third professional season out of the University of Washington. He will most likely start on the Browns defensive line as a defensive tackle.
My my, what a strange journey to the NFL Caleb Brantley has had. At first, he seemed to be a lock for a first or second-round pick. However, after an alleged misdemeanor charge, Brantley’s draft stock fell to the sixth or seventh round or even undrafted. However, it turned out after the Browns drafted him in the sixth round that the police falsified the report. Now, he might be starting for the Browns defensive line, right next to Danny Shelton. Though depending on the competition with Caleb Brantley, he could come off the bench as a rookie.
Coming out of Charlotte, the Browns grabbed Larry Ogunjobi in the third round. The former 49er brings an incredible work ethic and amazing potential. While it might take him a bit to reach that potential, the Browns still have his rights. Ogunjobi probably isn’t as pro-ready as Gregg Williams would like him to be. In that case, he may be coming off the bench for the Browns this season. Though depending on the competition with Caleb Brantley, he could snag that last starter spot.
Oh, there is always an odd man out. Sadly for Parma, Ohio’s own Jamie Meder, he could be that odd man. The “Pierogi Prince of Parma” really got the job done against the Chargers last year. In fact, he basically allowed the Browns to win the game. But all things considered, what else did he do for the Browns last year? It’s hard to think of exactly what he contributed to the team. He could be on the bubble to start the pre-season.
Starters: Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Caleb Brantley/Larry Ogunjobi, Danny Shelton
Backups: Caleb Brantley/Larry Ogunjobi
On the Bubble: Jamie Meder
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