Where do Cleveland Browns still need to improve?
By Randy Gurzi
The Cleveland Browns made some changes to their roster this offseason but Andrew Gribble from the team’s official website says there are still some areas where they need to get better
It’s been a welcome change as of late as the Cleveland Browns have been getting a lot of praise this offseason — whereas, in the past, the offseason has been all about how they can fix whatever went wrong during the prior campaign.
This year, however, we’re now talking about how they can take their next step following an 11-win season which included a playoff victory. We have also been praising the moves made by general manager Andrew Berry, who has added several new players including safety John Johnson, cornerback Troy Hill, linebacker Anthony Walker, defensive end Takk McKinley, and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.
As great as those moves have been, the Browns understand there’s more work to be done. But where exactly do they need to focus with the draft right around the corner?
Well, according to Andrew Gribble of ClevelandBrowns.com, they still need to focus on defense. When answering a mailbag question, Gribble said the top five needs are still on defense, starting with defensive end and cornerback. He then went on to name three more defensive positions that could use some help.
"“From there, safety, defensive tackle and linebacker fall in an order that can differ depending on who you ask.” — Gribble, ClevelandBrowns.com"
It’s hard to argue against any of the areas Gribble says need to improve — except maybe safety. With the addition of Johnson, the Browns now boast Johnson, Grant Delpit, Ronnie Harrison, and Sheldrick Redwine. Of course, they plan on going three deep but they have their top three starters so it’s clearly a depth thing at this point.
Linebacker is another interesting one. Cleveland currently has Walker, Mack Wilson, Jacob Phillips, Sione Takitaki, and Malcolm Smith on their roster. They could still add someone in the draft but there’s also a chance they go into the season with this corps and see what happens.
As for defensive end and cornerback — those two spots need to be addressed. Hill’s addition gives them a great slot corner and they do have Denzel Ward on the edge but he has struggled to stay on the field — still never playing 16 games in a season.
Ward has been healthier than Greedy Williams, who has played just 12 games in two years. With those concerns at corner, Cleveland absolutely needs to get another starter and might need two players capable of starting.
The same is true at defenisve end. Myles Garrett is one of the best in the game, but he has played in all 16 games just once — which was in 2018. They added Takk McKinley this offseason but McKinley couldn’t pass a physical last season and missed 12 games — also playing all 16 just once.
The good news is, none of these positions are glaring weaknesses thanks to their offseason moves but the Browns shouldn’t just consider the job done.
Instead, they should look to improve these spots even more, whether that be in the draft or with the second wave of free agency.