Browns trade down, up and get run stopper in draft

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Taylor’s selection is considered a bit of a surprise. He was not listed in many mock drafts as going to Cleveland, but after the Browns dropped 21 spots in the first round, it became apparent Shurmur, Heckert and president Mike Holmgren did not like what was left when it was the team’s turn to pick at No. 6.

Heckert said that was not necessarily true. The team had Taylor rated very high on their board, and fearing he might get taken before they had a chance, the Browns made the deal with the Chiefs to get their man.

Shurmur, who was St. Louis’ offensive coordinator last season, joked that it wasn’t hard for him to use his first pick on a defender.

“I have a little broader view as the head coach,” he said, laughing.

Heckert said he had been talking about trading his top pick with Atlanta for two weeks. He and Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff are good friends, and it was that trust that allowed Heckert to go forward with the deal.

With needs across the board, the Browns decided to trade their pick to the Falcons, who used it on Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones _ a player believed to be high on Cleveland’s board.

However, Heckert was able to extract plenty from the Falcons. In addition to the No. 27 pick, the Browns got Atlanta’s second-rounder (No. 59), fourth-rounder (No. 124) and the Falcons’ first- and fourth-round picks in 2012. In making the major swap, the Browns are somewhat conceding they are still in rebuilding mode and it could take awhile before they become legitimate contenders.

“We’re not saying we’re one player away,” Heckert said.

When the Browns took Taylor, several other high-profile players were still available, including Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers, who was once considered a possible No. 1 pick, but slipped because of questions about a knee injury.

Taylor has had weight trouble, once ballooning to 385 pounds. But Heckert said he’s got it under control and recalled how the massive lineman ordered salmon when he went to dinner with the Browns recently. In fact, Taylor has been dropping weight.

“We don’t want him too light,” Heckert said.

Shurmur doesn’t seem worried about that.

“If you haven’t seen him, he’s a big guy,” he said. “That’s a good thing.”

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