Cleveland Browns issue No. 1: Defensive tackle concerns
Last season, the Browns moved on from Sheldon Richardson and lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency. They hoped Andrew Billings and Malik Jackson could fill the roles but they wound up releasing Billings who was ineffective — but got quite a boost from Malik McDowell.
Following another off-field issue, it appears McDowell is out of chances in the league, and Jackson was not brought back. Cleveland did sign former first-round pick Taven Bryan, who could end up finding success in a new home.
Even with his draft status, Bryan is a bit of a question mark — as are the rest of the options in Cleveland. Jordan Elliott and Tommy Togiai each have their share of impressive traits but neither has been able to put it all together consistently.
As their roster currently stands, one of them would likely be starting next to Bryan. That would be a pretty big roll of the dice, which is why defensive tackle has to be a priority in the draft.
There’s a big chance they could look to find a starter with the 44th pick, especially if a player such as Travis Jones from Connecticut is still on the board. As is the case with defensive end, there are still some players on the open market but the choices have thinned out.
Cleveland’s defense improved drastically in 2021 but if they don’t beef up the interior of their line, there could be a regression in 2022.