Cleveland Browns Defensive Depth Chart
Left Defensive End – Myles Garrett, Takkarist McKinley
Myles Garrett is among the top defensive ends in the entire NFL, and will be on a mission to try and win Defensive Player of the Year, as well as help the Browns advance even further into the playoffs this year. McKinley is a solid player when healthy, and will be a key part of the defensive line rotation in 2021.
Right Defensive End – Jadeveon Clowney, Joe Jackson
Clowney lining up opposite of Garrett on the defensive line is a nightmare for the opposing team’s offensive line, and he could have a career season.
Defensive Tackle – Malik Jackson, Andrew Billings, Malik McDowell, Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai
Veterans Malik Jackson and Andrew Billings will likely get the starting nod in Week 1. However, after a disappointing preseason by Billings, and a really impressive one by McDowell, don’t be surprised if those two players switch spots on the depth chart before long.
Linebacker – Sione Takitaki, Anthony Walker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Malcolm Smith, Mack Wilson, Tony Fields
The Browns starting three linebackers will most likely be Takitaki, Walker, and Owusu-Koramoah. Malcolm Smith will likely see a good amount of playing time as well, with Wilson and Fields likely to see the field very sparingly. This depth chart could change throughout the entire season, especially if Jacob Phillips returns from the IR at some point this year.
Cornerback – Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Troy Hill, Greedy Williams, A.J. Green, M.J. Stewart
Both Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II should be the starting cornerbacks on the outside, with Troy Hill taking over the nickelback role on defense. Williams and Green are both suitable backups, should they stay healthy, and Stewart, is a guy that can play both outside and inside if needed.
Strong Safety – Grant Delpit, Ronnie Harrison
The Browns have the luxury of having two starting-level strong safeties on their team. While Delpit missed all of the 2020 season with injury, he should get the starting job now that he is healthy, but expect to see a lot of Ronnie Harrison on the field this season as well in defensive coordinator Joe Wood’s defense that heavily features defensive backs.
Free Safety – John Johnson III, Richard LeCounte
Johnson signed as a free agent to reconnect with Joe Woods, and is the perfect fit for this style of defense. LeCounte showed real potential during the preseason, which is why he made the 53-man roster, and should prove to be a more than capable backup when he gets called upon.