Reason not to worry: Defensive line depth
At one point, it felt as though the Browns defensive line was going to have some issues behind their starters. We all knew that Myles Garrett was going to continue the upward trajectory he showed last season and the addition of Olivier Vernon only made them more dangerous on the edge.
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All four of those players have immense talent and they looked strong when they started the game on Friday night. Jameis Winston of the Bucs was constantly under duress and couldn’t get comfortable in the pocket.
Vernon had two sacks, Richardson added another and Garret was right there on one of Vernon’s. As great as that was to see, what may have been even better was the fact that they continued to get pressure with the backups.
Chris Smith was able to make plays off the edge but the real star was Devaroe Lawrence. The former undrafted free agent who Cleveland acquired in a trade with New Orleans last season was credited with three tackles and two sacks.
This wasn’t the first time we saw Lawrence flash in the preseason which is incredibly encouraging. Should he continue to perform in the regular season, he will be able to give the starters some much-needed rest throughout the year.