Veteran Backup: Chris Smith
Moving on from former second-round pick Emmanuel Ogbah won’t be felt at the starter level. That’s because Olivier Vernon will be an upgrade. However, deciding not to keep him as a depth piece behind the two starters could end up coming into play this season.
Myles Garrett played all 16 games last year but missed five as a rookie. Vernon missed five last year and four the season prior. That’s a lot of missed games over the past two campaigns and the Browns don’t have a whole lot of depth behind their starters.
The most experienced option is Chris Smith, who joined the team last season in free agency. Smith, who turned 27 this year, played for the Jacksonville Jaguars for three years and the Cincinnati Bengals for one before coming to Cleveland in 2018. He appeared in all 16 games last year, with two starts.
Smith won’t jump off the tape but he’s a savvy veteran who does his job. The splash plays aren’t there but he had 21 tackles and a sack as the primary reserve. He won’t be the only option, and the Browns probably hope someone can push him for snaps, but he’s at least a viable player who can give them some decent reps.