Adrian Clayborn – Defensive End
One of the biggest under the radar signings this offseason for the Browns was the addition of Adrian Clayborn. Bringing in Andrew Billings at defensive tackle will be equally important, but Clayborn will put up flashier numbers as a pass rusher.
After being a first-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, Clayborn has always been a pass-rushing threat. Many would argue he never lived up to first-round expectations, but at this stage in Clayborn’s career, he has found a perfect fit in Cleveland. Olivier Vernon and Myles Garrett will play most of the defensive snaps at defensive end this season, but Clayborn will be the pass-rushing specialist, giving those two breaks when needed.
When on the field, Clayborn will be in a premier spot with all the opposition’s attention on Garrett and/or Vernon, not to mention Larry Ogunjobi, who has become known as a pass-rushing force on the interior. In one-on-one scenarios, look for Clayborn to be extremely successful for the Browns in 2020 on passing downs.
There will be no questions that Vernon and Garrett are the starters, but look for Clayborn to make an impact. It’s unlikely Clayborn relives his 9.5 sack season in 2017 with the Atlanta Falcons, but timely pressure and six or more sacks in 2020 would be a tremendous season for Clayborn. Again, this won’t be a season where Clayborn will be selected to the Pro Bowl, but a strong season and a timely sack here and there could help get the Browns over the hump.