After Day 1 ended with three offensive players selected, the Browns opened Day 2 of the draft with OLB Kevin Bentley from Northwestern. The 6-0, 243 pound Bentley was a productive player for the Wildcats, overshadowed by Napolean Harris and Billy Silva. Here's a look at Bentley from Rob "Boomer" Rang of boomersdraft.com. By the way, we sincerely thank Rob for allowing us access to his profiles!
A three time All Big Ten selection at linebacker (1999-2001), but is still widely underrated. Has struggled to move out of the shadow of blue chip OLB Napoleon Harris and super productive middle linebacker, Billy Silva. Has played weakside for much of his career with the Wildcats, but projects equally well to both outside positions in the NFL. For a man his size, Bentley takes on blockers aggressively and shows excellent hand technique to meet, greet, and discard blockers on his way to the ball carrier. Solid in pursuit. Locates the ball quickly, and doesn't get caught up in the trash. Called by many of his past teammates as the heart and soul of the defense. Was considered a low pick, but helped himself with a solid combine - showing up considerably heavier than expected (243) after playing much of the season around 230 pounds and still running a decent forty time (4.71). Helped himself the most with a dominating performance at the Blue-Gray game. Came away from the contest as the talk of the crowd - and the defensive MVP with 16 total tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Hasn't received the hype of his two linebacking cohorts, but is a talented player that I see enjoying a solid career in the NFL. Could slip to the early 2nd day, and would be an excellent value pick there.
Butch Davis stays in the familiar Big East and on the defensive side of the ball as LB Ben Taylor lands with the Browns with their second pick in the 4th round. Rob Rang on Ben Taylor:
Lanky framed, productive middle linebacker whose future in the NFL may be on the weakside. Old school player who spends hours in the film room and works extremely hard to make himself the best player he can be. Led the club the past two seasons in tackles - putting up 110 tackles last season and 7.5 TFL before truly breaking out this year with 121 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks - all V-Tech highs. Excellent instincts and diagnosis skills are his best quality. Aggressive in supporting the run, but looks to evade the blocker, not meet and greet him. Lacks the size and strength to discard the block and make the play. Takes good angles to the football and is a very reliable open field tackler. Doesn't take a lot of false steps and has good recognition to the play fake. Has a burst to get back into coverage, but his doesn't have great pure speed and can get beat down the field. That said, Taylor plays with pretty good, not great speed for a career middle linebacker, and has an uncanny ability as a pass defender. Stays with the receiver nicely and does a good job of batting the pass away, as well. Has three career interceptions. One concern with Taylor is that he has had some injury problems in the past - a shoulder surgery that caused him to redshirt his freshman season, and ankle surgery which clouded the beginning of his senior season. To Taylor's credit, he hasn't appeared to be bothered by these injuries since. The fact that he is an accomplished pass defender and struggles with the physicality that comes with manning the mike position makes a move to the weakside an obvious one in my eyes. That said, regardless of what position he ultimately plays in the NFL, I see Taylor being a dependable contributor early in his career.