5 things the Cleveland Browns must do to reach the Super Bowl in 2020
3. Find a mid-level defensive playmaker
Last season, the Cleveland Browns really struggled on the defensive side of the ball. They had their moments where they looked like they were close to being a dangerous team and even made life miserable for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. As good as that week was, they struggled with consistency — and depth — all season.
According to NFL.com, they finished the year ranked 21st overall in points given up (24.5) and were No. 30 in total yards as teams moved the ball an average of 393 yards per game on them. That absolutely has to change next season if they want to contend.
The good news is, the Browns have some playmakers to lean on as they seek to improve. Defensive end Myles Garrett is becoming one of the best in the league as he racked up 13.5 sacks last season. Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi added another 5.5 from his interior tackle spot which proved they have more than one playmaker up front.
On the back end, they had some big plays from safety Damarious Randall who had four interceptions. Rookie cornerback Denzel Ward followed his lead with three picks on the season as their secondary showed they can get the job done.
What they’re missing though is a player in the middle who can make the impact plays. Looking just at the stats, Jamie Collins seems to fit that bill as he led the team with 104 tackles and added four sacks and an interception. Even with those numbers, he seemed to disappear at times and is going to be 30-years old during this next season.
Cleveland needs to add someone else in the mid-level of their defense that can make some big plays for them. Whether that be in the draft with a linebacker like Devin White, or perhaps in free agency with Anthony Barr, Cleveland has to find someone to elevate their defense in order to become contenders.