3 big changes the Cleveland Browns need to make before 2023

Browns, Taven Bryan. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Browns, Taven Bryan. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /
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Browns, Taven Bryan. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

2. Fix the defensive line

It’s hard to understand how a team that wanted to win with the ground game while Deshaun Watson was out didn’t think it was important to stop the ground game, but here we are. Cleveland has the best running back in the NFL in Nick Chubb and he’s having the best season of his career. But on defense, they basically ignored the opposing rushing attack.

Instead of trying to find space eaters that will force a team to throw the ball, the Browns have continued to use a Band-Aid approach. Last season, it was Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell that spent the majority of the year at the defensive tackle spot, and in 2022, it’s been Taven Bryan and Jordan Elliott.

It’s hard to say which group is better (that’s not a compliment) but neither was known for stopping running backs. This year, Cleveland was gashed by those who are good on the ground — such as the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins — as well as those who can’t run — see the Los Angeles Chargers. Throw in the fact that they have undersized linebackers known for their speed and it’s like Christmas day for running back when they line up against the orange and brown.

In 2023, that has to change. While the Browns don’t need to be an elite run defense, they have to at least be able to make some stops. Using a mid-round pick of a nose tackle would make a massive difference. This coming season is when that should happen.