Cleveland Browns: Predicting the starting defense in 2017
The linebacker, cornerback and defensive line position groups are all noticeably better than last season. The new defensive scheme will make many of the current outside linebackers switch to defensive end, most notably Nate Orchard, which could end up being for the best as it may be a more natural fit for him.
It shouldn’t shock Browns fans that the team has Pro Bowl potential with Haden, Collins, Ogbah, Garrett and potentially more.
The biggest concern, though is at safety.
Peppers may have been the best athlete in the draft with his ability to return punts and be an above-average tackler, yet his lack of production in coverage suggests that he looks more like a good WILL linebacker.
It is also hard to trust Reynolds as the starting free safety, and it looks like that will be one of the key draft positions earning attention next offseason.
It’s possible that Reynolds plays better in Williams’ defensive scheme, he plays better, or that players such as Powell, Derrick Kindred, Ibraheim Campbell or Wilson could step up and take the position.
Next: Predicting the post-draft starting offense
Until this is sorted out, the Browns will look better in the front seven and the cornerback position should be fine, but the defense sill has glaring holes at defense that still need to be addressed.