2. Stuff the run
While it was just mentioned that the Browns have playmakers on the defensive line, that unit isn’t exactly complete. Garrett and Ogunjobi are great pieces, but they can use some upgrades. Emmanuel Ogbah didn’t take the next step in his third season that he needed to and the D-tackle spot next to Ogunjobi was a sore subject all season.
Pair that with the injury problems they had at linebacker and the Browns were really bad at stopping the run in 2018. On the season, they surrendered 135.2 yards per contest, which ranked them 28th out of 32 teams in the NFL. Never was their inability to stop the run on display as much as it was in Week 17 against the Baltimore Ravens.
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Looking to knock Baltimore out of playoff contention — and have their first winning season since 2007 — Cleveland gave it all they had and came up just short in a 26-24 defeat. In that loss, they gave up 296 yards on the ground as they were gashed by Kenneth Dixon, Lamar Jackson, and Gus Edwards all game.
In order to become a team in play for a Super Bowl berth, the Browns have to shore up this problem. They don’t need to be an elite defense to be in the mix, but they have to be able to make stops in key situations. When they’re giving up more yards than most teams, that becomes an incredibly hard task.
Adding a legit defensive tackle and building some more depth at end, and linebacker would go a long way toward fixing their defensive run-game woes. And it would help them become a serious team rather than one that’s just looking to play spoiler.