Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Browns lucky to have Hughes after Taylor injury

So, you didn't like when the Browns drafted defensive tackle John Hughes in the third round of the recent NFL Draft?

I bet you're glad they did NOW.

When the Browns drafted a guy who, for all intents and purposes at the time was a rotational player, eyes rolled across northeastern Ohio. 

"Why are we drafting someone who isn't going to start for us?" Browns fans asked in frustration.

Guess what?

That guy - Hughes - is probably a starter now.

With the recent injury to last year's No. 1 pick, Phil Taylor, the Browns all of a sudden are short on interior defensive linemen. Oh no, wait. They're not. They have this Hughes guy from the University of Cincinnati.

OK, OK, Hughes hasn't played a down in the NFL yet. To assume he is going to play anywhere near how Taylor played last year is a stretch, because we simply don't know that yet.

And to give the Browns too much credit here is amiss, too. When they drafted Hughes to join a rotation along with starters Ahtyba Rubin and Taylor, they didn't KNOW Taylor was going to tear a pectoral muscle and miss the entire year.

But one thing is for certain - you can never have enough big dudes in the middle of a defensive line who can plug up a run game. Thanks to the Browns drafting Hughes, they have a backup plan.

Hughes might not be a star, but he's young, hungry and productive.

It beats the Browns NOT drafting a defensive lineman, wishing they had and plugging that hole with some overpriced NFL retread who won't pan out.

At least Hughes has an upside. The Browns just need him to reach that upside faster than they originally anticipated.

-- John Kampf


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