Browns haunted for neglecting an important position

Michael Welsh
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 31: General manager Andrew Berry of the Cleveland Browns looks on before the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 31: General manager Andrew Berry of the Cleveland Browns looks on before the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

There were several positions in question during the offseason that many thought the Browns should address. Neglecting one of them has become a big issue.

General manager Andrew Berry has done a good job during his short time with the Cleveland Browns. Each offseason he has identified areas of weakness and then proceeded to add talent to those areas in hopes of improving them. A lot of that has worked while some of it hasn’t, but that is just how it goes in the NFL.

In the 2022 offseason, there were two positions of need in Cleveland that fans and analysts constantly talked about; wide receiver and defensive tackle. Fans were more worried about wide receiver, but as the season has gone on, that position has actually been totally fine.

Could they use another veteran presence? Sure. But without it, guys are still making plays and the offense has been very efficient. The defense, on the other hand, has had loads of issues. A lot of those problems start up front.

How have the young Browns performed?

The Browns are a disappointing 2-4 through six weeks. With the loss to New England on Sunday, their season could very well already be over. The defense has been largely responsible for the underperformance. A lot of this comes back to coaching and lack of communication on the field. Some of it, however, is just flat out a major lack of talent.

It all starts up front. Everyone knows how good Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are. Both have missed time with injuries, but have been great when on the field. The interior defensive line is a whole different story.

They have been absolutely atrocious this season. There isn’t one bright spot in the middle and their lack of production has helped attribute to the abysmal run defense that has been on display through six weeks.

There have been a rotation of guys getting snaps thus far. Below are their grades from Pro Football Focus:

Jordan Elliot – 30.2

Perrion Winfrey – 47.9

Tommy Togiai – 28.9

Taven Bryan – 51.9

All of them are Andrew Berry draft picks except for Taven Bryan who he brought in as a free agent this offseason. The play from this entire group isn’t even close to what it needs to be at the NFL level. Berry took a gamble and decided to go with his own draft picks instead of bringing in a proven veteran, and it has undoubtedly hurt the team.

Berry has shown an eye for talent in other positions, but this one clearly isn’t it, especially considering he used 3rd and 4th round draft picks on most of these guys.

Who could the Browns go after?

The defense is going to continue to be terrible unless changes are made. Berry brought in linebacker Deion Jones following last week’s loss to the Chargers, so it’ll be interesting to see if he makes another move this week. As it stands today, as long as they have poor play from the interior, teams will continue to get the pushes that affect the linebackers and lead to these big runs fans are seeing week in and week out.

There are some names out there that Berry could go after. The obvious one is Ndamukong Suh, which many thought the Browns would bring in before the start of the season. Why he isn’t playing for any NFL team is a mystery, but he has reportedly been checking in with Cleveland periodically with them showing no interest.

If not him, the Browns could make a trade. The Carolina Panthers fired their head coach and general manager and many believe a fire sale could ensure. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown could become available and he would instantly upgrade this defense.

He has an 84.2 grade on the season from Pro Football Focus. Whatever Berry decides to do, he needs to act fast so he can stop the bleeding and possibly save this season from being another major disappointment for Browns fans.

facebooktwitterreddit