Cleveland Browns: Which defensive rookies will make the team?
By Joel W. Cade
The Cleveland Browns drafted six defensive players in order to improve upon one of the league’s worst overall defense. Who will make the final roster?
The Cleveland Browns defense struggled to find an identity last season. Working with a scheme that players either could not grasp or refused to buy into, the Browns defense ended the season as one of the worst in the NFL. Recently, former Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby described the situation as one in which the players had “shut down” due to lack of continuity at every level of the organization.
Things got worse this offseason when three defensive contributors left via free agency or because of being released. Two of the three comprised half of the defensive backfield. The other loss was the heart of the defense in tackling machine Karlos Dansby.
But that was a different day and age. In a post-Cavaliers championship Cleveland, gone is the “bad juju” that hung over our sports franchises and haunted the city. Gone is the defeatist mentality that saw the negative in everything.
The Browns are now under new management. Along with a new sheriff in town comes a complete overhaul of the defense. The Browns turned to Ray Horton to remake one of the worst defenses in the NFL in his own image.
To restock the defense, the Browns turned to young, inexpensive free agents with upside. But their biggest splash came in the 2016 Draft. In the draft, the Browns selected six players on the defensive side of the ball. They drafted at least one player at each level and drafted two players to address the team’s biggest need: outside linebacker.
Being drafted does not guarantee making the team. Four of the six draft picks will make the team coming out of training camp. Here is who and why.
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