4. Defensive End
Just like the above-mentioned defensive tackle spot, Cleveland is actually pretty strong in terms of starters at defensive end. Even so, it comes in as the No. 4 need during the 2019 NFL Draft.
In 2017, the Browns added Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett via the No. 1 overall pick. He played just 11 games as a rookie as he dealt with some nagging injuries but still had seven sacks and proved to be a legitimate presence off the edge. Then in 2018, he started to cross over into stardom. Garrett was a nightmare for opposing tackles to try and contain and he ended up with 13.5 sacks on the season.
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As good as he was, the team seemed let down by the production of Emmanuel Ogbah opposite him. Ogbah finished the season with just three sacks and that led to the front office making a play for Olivier Vernon from the Giants. It cost them right guard Kevin Zeitler, but they got a player who has 51 career sacks and averaged just over seven per season the past three years in New York.
After making that move, Ogbah was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Eric Murray. While that helped their secondary, and special teams, it also hurt their depth on the edge. There’s hope that someone like Chad Thomas can step up there, or they could use Genard Avery. There’s also veteran Chris Smith who is a good enough player to get some snaps in.
Still, the Browns need to add depth and competition on the edge. Not only do they need to push guys like Thomas, but they need reliable players just in case Vernon or Garrett miss any time.