Cleveland Browns Free Agency/Draft preview for 2021 defense
The Cleveland Browns have underachieved on the defensive line the last two seasons. While Myles Garrett has been great, injuries to Olivier Vernon and inconsistencies from Larry Ogunjobi have held the group back.
Berry has been busy in free agency signing Takk McKinley (defensive end) and Malik Jackson (defensive tackle). Both are starting-caliber players and will be major contributors to the defense in 2021.
While things seem shored up on the interior of the line with the addition of Jackson to go with Andrew Billings, Sheldon Richardson, and Jordan Elliott, there is likely one more move left at defensive end.
The one name that won’t go away is Jadeveon Clowney, and while it didn’t work well in Tennessee last season, he could be the perfect fit in Cleveland. With Garrett on the roster, he can play a role like when he was with J.J. Watt in Houston and had back-to-back seasons with nine-plus sacks.
While Berry would also have an interest in adding a defensive end early in the draft, the edge-rushing class is weak at the top end in 2021 and he would likely have to reach at pick no. 26.
I believe the Browns will continue to make a big push for Clowney and will take a project defensive end in the later rounds. While McKinley is a first-round talent, I think Berry wants to use him as the third defensive end, and not the starter alongside Garrett. Clowney for the right just makes too much sense to pass on now.