As the rookies file into Berea for the start of their 2017 training camp, it's appropriate we're getting our defensive previews started with the defensive line.
The Browns used the No. 1 pick and more to bolster a group that will have a new look this season in more ways than one.
THE DEFENSIVE LINE
What happened at OTAs: Though the Browns added major talent in the draft in the acquisitions of Garrett, Ogunjobi and Brantley, all three had to earn their stripes as members of the second- and third-team groups during the spring. That meant the Browns sported a first-team unit that featured Emmanuel Ogbah and Cam Johnson at the ends and Xavier Cooper and Danny Shelton in the middle. Garrett, who was initially limited with an injury, suffered an injury scare during minicamp when he went down with a sprained foot but should be OK for training camp. Desmond Bryant, the veteran who missed all of 2016 with a torn pectoral muscle, got back into the swing of things but did not receive live, 11-on-11 reps. Orchard, a former second-round pick who played at outside linebacker during his first two seasons, was back at defensive end in Cleveland's 4-3. Johnson was also an outside linebacker in last year's defense.
Under the radar: One of the Browns' toughest competitions could be at defensive end behind Ogbah and Garrett because of the position-switching Johnson and Orchard. Both aren't exactly new to the spots because of their past experience, and Orchard, in particular, has seemed rejuvenated after a couple of tough seasons at OLB. The former Utah star racked up 18.5 sacks as a senior playing the position and has expressed his excitement about a move back to his comfort zone. With Carl Nassib expected to have a big role on Cleveland's defensive line, Orchard and Johnson could be competing for a spot if the team opts to keep just four defensive ends. Their experience as linebackers certainly helps their respective causes, as new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is tasking every player on his side of the ball to learn multiple positions.
Variables to consider: The Browns are running out of a 4-3 base this season after listing a 3-4 on their depth chart the past few years. That means there will be more bodies on the roster with a DL next to their name, so comparisons to last year, when it comes to how many made the cut, aren't appropriate … Ogbah got better and better as his rookie season progressed, and he'll have a couple of more things working in his favor this year. Not only will he be helped by the addition of Garrett on the other side of the line, but he'll also be back in his comfort zone as a 4-3 defensive end.
Quote to note: "We have to do like all defensive lines have to do. We have to knock the line of scrimmage back just to give ourselves a chance to win. That is the basis and the key thing that we are trying to emphasize more is let's just try to create a new line of scrimmage." -- defensive line coach Clyde Simmons
Stat tracker: The Browns got 11 sacks from players who lined up as defensive linemen in 2016.
How many were kept at last year's 53-man cutdown?: Six