2. Keep 10 defensive linemen
Defensive coordinator Joe Wood’s vision was unable to be realized in 2020 given a lack of talent. The defensive line, in particular, was not close to deep enough; Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi played n extremely high number of snaps at defensive tackle, and their backups were ineffective. Myles Garrett was hampered after Week 5, and Olivier Vernon went down in Week 17.
Woods’ goal is to constantly rotate linemen in and out based on the situation and to keep his starters fresh. None of the defensive tackles should approach the 920 snaps that Richardson logged. Andrew Billings, Malik Jackson, Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai, Marvin Wilson, and perhaps Malik McDowell will all be part of a rotation. At EDGE, Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley, Curtis Weaver, and Porter Gustin are on the depth chart.
Typically teams will keep eight, sometimes nine DL in total, but the Browns could keep 10, especially considering the talent and potential versatility of guys like Weaver, McDowell, and Wilson. The odd man out could end up being Gustin, who offers a lower ceiling and no outside-in ability.
Keeping Clowney and Garrett healthy and fresh for the fourth quarter will be key. Building a strong depth chart of younger backups was a priority for the Browns and could end up forcing them to keep 10 DL in total.