The Cleveland Browns addressed most of their needs already this off-season, and that will allow them to take a different approach to the 2019 NFL Draft.
Entering the off-season, the Cleveland Browns knew they did not have too many holes on the roster they needed to address.
For the majority of the roster, the Browns have young talent in place who performed well last season or at least showed glimpses of upside.
Cleveland’s young roster gave them playoff hopes for 2019 before the off-season even started. But after their additions in free agency and through trades, the Browns are confident they’ll be competing for a division title and a playoff spot.
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This off-season, the Browns have added Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson, Morgan Burnett, Jaelen Strong, Adarius Taylor, Eric Murray, and more. The Browns entered the off-season as one of the teams with the most cap space, but they have taken a large chunk out of that with these additions.
But the additions by the Browns are going to greatly affect how the Cleveland front office approaches the 2019 NFL Draft. Because the additions they have made this off-season addressed all of their glaring needs, the Browns can enter the draft with the mindset of taking the best player available with no concern about positions they have to address.
When looking at the Browns roster at the time of free agency, Cleveland’s biggest needs were to add a starter at safety, defensive end, and defensive tackle. General manager John Dorsey has done that and can now focus on building depth across the roster.
By the time the Browns hit the clock at the 2019 NFL Draft, they are not going to be forced to draft a certain position because they do not have enough talent at that position. Instead, they can focus on the best player on their board.
It also gives Cleveland flexibility to select a player slipping in the draft because of an injury or has high potential but not the talent needed to play immediately. Because they do not need a player who will start from day one, they can select a player who they will be able to work with and not have to worry about immediate playing time.
Also, the Browns have eight selections in the draft, so they have the assets needed if they want to trade up from one of their selections. And because they do not have many needs to address, it gives Dorsey the freedom to move picks because he does not have to add rookies to a bunch of positions.
Organizations dream of the scenario the Browns are currently in. Being able to select the best player available on their board allows the Browns to maximize the talent they select in the draft. And knowing how aggressive Dorsey is when adding talent, he should be salivating at the moves he could potentially make in the draft.