John Johnson III
John Johnson III was the biggest fish in the free agency signing period this offseason for Cleveland. He was the first former L.A. Ram to sign, followed by his former teammate Troy Hill.
The two should transform the secondary as they each fill a massive hole. Johnson offers up a versatile defensive back who can play close to the line as well as in deep coverage.
He should be one starter and the other could very well be Grant Delpit as long as he’s healthy after suffering a torn Achilles during camp in 2020. If he’s not at 100 percent, or even needs time just to get acclimated to the NFL, it won’t be a problem since Ronnie Harrison proved to be a steal for them last season. And he’s even been better during this year’s workouts according to defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
Another player who should be able to contribute is Richard LeCounte, as long as he’s healthy. He’s a talented player from Georgia but injuries killed his stock and he ended up landing with Cleveland in the fifth round. He could end up being a steal if he’s able to return to health.
If the Browns did want to go deeper at one position (such as at defensive end as mentioned earlier) then they could potentially go with just four safeties — especially knowing that Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is capable of playing a hybrid role and taking a safety spot in their 4-2-5 defense. However, the question of health with LeCounte and the fear of putting too much on JOK’s plate in year one is what keeps Sheldrick Redwine on the roster one more season as the fifth safety.