D-Line Deep, Experienced

This is the sixth part of the preview of the Browns as they head to training camp this week.

The Browns have a strong and deep defensive front and Mike Pettine and Jim O’Neil are hoping to forge the defense into one of the best in the NFL. If the Browns are strong up front it will go a long way in having a top-flight defense.

It is obvious the new coaching staff liked the front line as they made very little changes to the group. The only additions from the 2013 roster are a couple undrafted rookie free agents.

Defensive Linemen: (Desmond Bryant, Phil Taylor, Ahtyba Rubin, Armonty Bryant, Billy Winn, John Hughes, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Jacobbi McDaniel, Cam Henderson, Calvin Barnett)

#60 Jacobbi McDaniel (6-0, 293, 24, Rookie, Florida St.)—Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent. Didn’t get off to a great start as he started training camp on the active/non-football injury list.

#67 Ishmaa’ily Kitchen (6-1, 330, 25, 3rd season, Kent St.)—Has been an effective run stopper as a reserve since joining the Browns. Kitchen had 29 tackles in 2013 in a reserve role.

#71 Ahtyba Rubin (6-2, 325, 28, 7th season, Iowa St.)—Rubin started 14 games last season and has been one of the Browns best defenders in his career. Rubin is in his final season of his contract. Rubin had the most tackles on the line in 2013 with 80, including two sacks.

#79 Cam Henderson (6-4, 270, 24, 1st season, Central Fla.)—Henderson was signed as a free agent and will try and earn a roster spot.

#90 Billy Winn (6-4, 300, 25, 3rd season, Boise St.)—Winn will start the season on the active/non-football injury list after missing the June minicamp with an undisclosed injury. Winn had 30 tackles with two sacks.

#91 Calvin Barnett (6-2, 317, 22, Rookie, Oklahoma St.)—Barnett was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent and will have a good shot to at least make the practice squad with a good preseason.

#92 Desmond Bryant (6-6, 310, 28, 6th season, Harvard)—Bryant was very effective until he suffered shortness of breath against the Bills early in the season. He ended up playing 12 games before he was placed on injured reserve and underwent a heart oblation. He has been cleared and the hope Bryant can return to his form of the early season. Bryant had 45 tackles, including 3.5 sacks.

#93 John Hughes (6-2, 320, 25, 3rd season, Cincinnati)—Hughes has proven to be a solid run stopper and provides depth in the defensive line rotation. As a reserve, Hughes had 48 tackles with a sack.

#95 Armonty Bryant (6-4, 265, 24, 2nd season, East Central)—Bryant might have been one of the best draft choices last season based on his production. In a limited role, Bryant showed the ability to rush the passer and had two sacks and 20 tackles.

#98 Phil Taylor (6-3, 335, 26, 4th season, Baylor)—Taylor received a contract extension and is expected to lock down the center of the defensive line. Taylor needs to occupy blockers in order to free up the inside linebackers to make plays in the running game. Taylor had 57 tackles with two sacks last season.

Summary: The defensive line should have a deep and productive rotation. All of the players are returning from last season and the return of a healthy Desmond Bryant should bolster the group. Taylor and Rubin are expected to be the other two starters in the three-man front, with Winn, Armonty Bryant, Kitchen and Hughes expected to provide depth.

(Next: Linebackers)

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