3. Their monstrous pass rush
When looking ahead to the 2021 season, it’s easy to get excited about the Cleveland Browns pass rush. Yes, they have had two solid stars in the past with Myles Garrett on one side and Olivier Vernon on the other, but they may have gotten even better in the starting rotation now that they added Jadeveon Clowney.
Like Garrett, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Clowney was the first overall selection in his class. In 2014, the Houston Texans took him out of South Carolina and he spent the first five seasons of his career there.
Clowney has since been on a series of one-year deals, playing in Seattle for the 2019 season and Tennessee for 2020 before joining the Browns. The main reason for this has been his durability concerns — Clowney has played in all 16 games just once in seven seasons. However, he’s still very disruptive when on the field and if Cleveland can get the player we saw in Houston, this can be dangerous.
As if that two-headed attack wasn’t enough, the Browns also have another first-round pick on the bench — Takk McKinley. A former selection of the Atlanta Falcons, McKinley has also struggled with health and he fell out of favor in Atlanta.
He bounced around several teams after being dropped by the Falcons due to failed physicals and, like Clowney in free agency last season, the Browns tried to land him but were unsuccessful. They ended up getting both their guys this offseason and while many people forget about Takk, they shouldn’t.
This kid had 13 sacks in his first two years in the NFL and still had 20 pressures in 2019 despite finishing with only 3.5 sacks. Last season, he played in just four games and had eight pressures and one sack. If Cleveland can get him focused, he can be dangerous. That could also lead to them boasting one of the best pass-rushes in the NFL.