The Cleveland Browns are coming off their most successful season in 20 years. Led by a high-powered offense and some star players on defense the Browns were able to make a playoff run. But they are far from perfect. The Cleveland Browns Team needs are far less than normal but are still very important for the team’s future success
Cleveland Browns Team Needs
Linebacker seems like the most obvious need for the Browns. While they got solid contributions from some veterans this year, the Browns did not have a standout player at the position. Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki were nice surprises at some points this season but in general, the corp was underperforming.
The Browns will have some options in the offseason to fill the position. While we don’t know what veterans will actually hit the market, there are a few the Browns should consider. Matt Milano, Jayon Brown, and Eric Wilson are three players who could add some great stability and production to the position. The draft, however, gives Cleveland its best option. Tulsa’s Zaven Collins and Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koarmoah are game-changers at the position and would be huge boosts to the defense. To most linebacker is the biggest of the Cleveland Browns team needs.
This one is interesting. The Browns have a lockdown corner already in the fold in Denzel Ward. They also spent a top 50 draft pick on Greedy Williams in 2019. The Browns also dealt with a lot of injuries and covid-19 issues at corner last year making the position group look even worse than it was. But two starting corners are free agents this off-season and the Browns have yet to see Williams stay healthy.
Corner is a position that has the potential to be a strength if Ward and Williams both stay healthy and play as well as we have seen be able to. But the uncertainty of that creates a need for the Browns
Cleveland has the money to spend on defense should it want to make a move for a corner. Chidobe Awuize would be the top choice for most teams due to age and his length on the outside. In the draft, the Browns would have a few options, but I expect Cleveland to focus on the front seven early.
The Browns could potentially lose two key defensive linemen in free agency, Larry Ogunjobi and Olivier Vernon. This would create openings at two key spots on the line. Ogunjobi has been a nice young piece in the middle of the line, but the Browns might not be willing to pay price after using a top 100 draft pick on a defensive tackle last season. The biggest need would be on the edge at defensive end, though as Vernon is a free agent and coming off season-ending knee surgery. He provided the Browns with nine sacks and stepped up big when Myles Garrett had to miss time.
However, it would be beneficial for Cleveland to get younger on the line and find a player who could be a perennial edge presence for years to come alongside Myles Garrett. This year’s NFL draft is full of very talented defensive lineman and would be a great spot for Cleveland to land its future edge rusher. Among my favorites are Georgia’s Azzez Ojulari, Miami’s Quincy Roche, and Pitt’s, Patrick Jones II. These three would provide tremendous value at pick 26 or pick 58.
This one seems pretty basic for any team, but I think it really makes sense in Cleveland. Adding depth is one of the keys for any team that is going to make a super bowl push. The defensive line will need starters, but it will also need depth as well, as the Browns had little to no production from its backup rushers this season. The same could be said for linebacker and corner. Championship teams are built with great starters, but backups who also play well, the Browns have work to do, but they are getting closer every year.
The Cleveland Browns team needs are pretty basic at this point, bolster the defense and add impact players that can help Garret and Ward grow. But as I mentioned every team is not perfect and the Browns could add in multiple places. After an 11 win season, things are looking up for the Dawg Pound. And the Browns look like a team ready to make noise for years to come.
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