Cleveland Browns: Looking at the defensive end rotation
By Randy Gurzi
The top rotation end in 2018 should be Carl Nassib. Picked in Round 3 out of Penn State, Nassib got 12 starts last season with both Ogbah and Garrett missing time. He finished with modest numbers — 32 tackles and three sacks — but the most important thing was he wasn’t a liability.
Nassib finished with a respectable 75.7 grade according to Pro Football Focus, which was more than 30 points higher than he graded out during his rookie season. Should he make another jump in his progression, Nassib could continue to see the field a lot this year.
The Browns signed Chris Smith away from the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason. A former fifth-round pick out of Arkansas, Smith began his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars before being traded to the Bengals before last season.
After rarely seeing the field for the Jags, Smith worked his way into the Cincinnati rotation. He played all 16 games for the first time in his career and finished with 26 tackles and three sacks.
Heading into this season he has a shot at being utilized often, but mainly on third-down passing situations. Smith has historically been better when he can pin his ears back and get after the passer than when he’s asked to hold up against the run.