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Browns draft Ohio State DT Michael Hall, Michigan guard Zak Zinter

Apr. 26—The Browns used their first pick in the 2024 draft, pick 54 overall, to select Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Hall.

They selected Michigan guard Zak Zinter, 6-foot-6, 309 pounds, with the 85th pick. Hall and Zinter are the only picks the Browns made on the second day of the draft. They did not have a pick in the first round on April 25.

Ironically, Zinter suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg in the Ohio State-Michigan game on Nov. 23 last year when a Michigan teammate, blocking Hall, knocked Hall backward to the ground, resulting in Hall rolling on the back of Zinter's left leg as Zinter was being pushed backward by an Ohio State defensive lineman.

Zinter had to be carted off the field. It was a gruesome injury, but not as bad as it might have been.

Zinter, on a conference call after being drafted, described his injury as "the best worst case scenario" because there was no ligament damage. His knee is fine.

Andrew Berry explains the decisions to draft Ohio State DT Mike Hall at 54 and Michigan guard Zak Zinter at 85 pic.twitter.com/dPG3ClGN7X

— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) April 27, 2024

Zinter has no hard feelings toward Hall. in just three months they will be crashing into each other in training camp.

"I talked to him once on a visit together," Zinter said on the conference call. "He's a great dude. It's football. Stuff happens when we're playing in the trenches, but I'm fired up and I think everything happens for a reason.

"So just kind of a full circle moment for that to happen. And now we're going to be teammates, so I'm fired up to get there and get to work with him at practice. For sure."

Hall, a native of Garfield Heights, appeared in28 games for the Buckeyes in three seasons. He is 6-foot-3, 290 pounds.

Assistant general manager Glenn Cook said the Browns fielded offers from teams that wanted to trade for the Browns pick, whether to move up or down, but in the end General Manager Andrew Berry chose to stand pat.

"He's a really talented young man," Cook said. "The way I would describe him is he's a shapeshifter, the way he can move his body, the way he can attack the quarterback. I think probably next to Andrew, the happiest person was Jim Schwartz. Just with our attacking style. He really fits our model and our style."

#Browns assistant general managers Glenn Cook and Catherine Raiche answer questions about the decision to draft defensive tackle Mike Hall from Ohio State Friday with the 54th overall pick. pic.twitter.com/UyZhAoVSTi

— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) April 27, 2024

Schwartz is in his second season as Browns' defensive coordinator. The scouting report by Larry Zeilein from NFL.com said "a lack of size might be hard (for Hall) to overcome." The Browns disagree.

"I think when you look at how we play the position and how we ask our guys to get off the ball and how athletic they need to be and how quick they need to be, that's what Michael is going to bring to the table," assistant general manager Catherine Raiche said. "Jim got on the phone with him, gave him a quiz and he was ready to roll. He is about to be the engine of this defense. I'm not going to use the words that they used, but let's just say mess things up in the front there. So I think that's what he's going to bring to the table."

Hall was on a conference call with reporters covering the draft and was asked about Zeirlein's critique. He chuckled before answering.

"I would say, obviously he didn't watch the tape," Hall said. "So it's nothing personal or anything about that. A lot of people have a lot of stuff to say. The naysayers, you can't focus on that. You got to focus on the positive. You got to let those people have opinions."

Aaron Donald, the 13th pick of the 2014 draft, recently retired after 10 years and 10 Pro Bowls with the Rams as a defensive tackle. He played at 6-foot-1, 280 pounds. Nolan Narwocki wrote this scouting report on Donald 10 years ago:

"Marginal height and frame is nearly maxed out. Hands are more active than strong — could play with more pop and power. Overpowered in the run game and ground up by double teams. Gets snared and controlled by bigger, longer blockers. Not a two-gap player. Has some tweener traits — lacks ideal length and bend to play outside."

Maybe Narwocki didn't watch the tape, either.

The Browns are stacked at defensive tackle with Dalvin Tomlinson, Maurice Hurst, Shelby Harris, Siaki ika and Quinton Jefferson. Hall will have to battle for significant playing time, but as Berry has said, this draft is not necessarily about 2024.

"You can never have enough guys who can impact the passing game," Cook said. "We feel we don't need to force (Hall) do to that. Hopefully he reaches his maturity and peak in a few years. We're not necessarily worried about Day 1."

Hall posted 4.5 sacks in 2022 but only 1.5 sacks last year.

As with Hall, Zinter was not drafted to start as a rookie. The Browns are set with Joel Bitonio at left guard and Wyatt Teller on the left side, but Bitonio is in his 11th season and Teller will be a free agent after 2025.

"Zach, we just thought was a rock solid all around player his entire career at Michigan," Berry said. "He was really part of the heartbeat of their culture when we met with him throughout the pre-draft process. Very smart, professional, passionate about football and I think his blue collar mentality will really fit well within our offensive line room. So we're very excited to add both guys to the team tonight."

The Browns have four selections on the final day of the draft on April 27 — pick 156 (fifth round), 206 (sixth round) plus 227 and 243 (seventh round). Their fourth round pick belongs to Houston as the final installment of the six draft picks they traded to the Texans for Deshaun Watson.