- Associated Press - Friday, April 29, 2011

BEREA, OHIO (AP) - On the phone from New York moments after Cleveland made him its first-round pick, Baylor’s Phil Taylor was asked to describe himself.

“I stop the run, man,” he said. “I’m a great run-stopping defensive tackle, and I can give you a good pass rush as well.”

The Browns will take all of it.

After making two trades, the Browns plugged a monstrous hole in their new defensive front by drafting the 6-foot-3, 330-pound Taylor with the No. 27 overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Unable to turn down the chance to add multiple picks, Browns general manager Tom Heckert traded the No. 6 pick to Atlanta for the No. 27 and four others _ including a first-rounder next season _ before moving up six spots in a deal with Kansas City and picking Taylor.

Under new coach Pat Shurmur, the Browns are switching from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3 and they envision Taylor playing up front and alongside another wide-body, Ahtyba Rubin, who had a breakout season for the Browns in 2010.

“He’s a big man and he can push the pocket,” Heckert said of Taylor. “If your guards are undersized, he’s going to run right over you.”

Taylor was dismissed after two seasons at Penn State for off-the-field incidents, but Heckert said the Browns have no concerns about him being a character problem.

“We have no reservations whatsoever,” Heckert said.

Taylor didn’t go into details about his troubles at Penn State.

“I was young, I made a mistake and I’ve moved on from it,” he said. “I went down to Baylor and made the best of a second chance and I’m happy to be here right now.”

Taylor shifted over the ball as a senior at Baylor and recorded 62 tackles, 17 more than in his previous three seasons combined.

Cleveland was desperate for defensive linemen. They released nose tackle Shaun Rogers during the offseason, and several other veterans are still free agents. Because of the league’s lockout, the club had been unable to address one of its’ biggest needs before the draft.

In Taylor, they’ve begun addressing a major shortcoming.

Browns running back Peyton Hillis announced Taylor’s selection from the stage of Radio City Music Hall. Hillis was in New York after being selected as the cover for the Madden ‘12 video game. He was scheduled to appear on David Letterman’s TV show.

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