Juan Thornhill maybe wasn't on most Cleveland Browns fan's radars when the free agency frenzy started this past week, but he's a young free safety formally of the Kansas City Chiefs and he has a lot of attributes that should help his new team a lot in the upcoming 2023 season.
Two seasons ago, the Browns thought they had signed that long-term answer at free safety when they picked up John Johnson III. However, that blew up their faces after he caused more issues within the locker room than expected.
He often called out his coaches and even his teammates and was criticized by fans for his lack of effort which was often showcased on Sundays. In the end, the Browns cut Johnson before the 2023 season officially began.
While anything is possible, I don't expect to see the same scenarios panning out as they did with Johnson. Thornhill is entering his fifth season and is a two-time Super Bowl champ. He's considered by many to be a team player and very supportive of his teammates and coaches.
Beyond that, he's an excellent football player and is only getting better. With that as the backdrop, let's take a look more closely at three areas that Thornhill could help the team the most as the team gets ready for 2023.
No. 3: Browns secondary is now vastly improved
The Browns secondary was supposed to get better this past season but it didn't. There were ongoing problems mostly due to a lack of communication that exposed the team's troubles. There was enough finger-pointing that eventually the Browns fired former defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
They now have hired veteran coach Jim Schwartz for the same job. The hope is that these talented players, like cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome and strong safety Grant Delpit can come together as a unit and play to their potential.
Thornhill can be that last line of defense that his teammates should be able to count on much more than they had John Johnson in the past. Thornhill has been improving each season and he'll be ready to help his teammates. This past season he recorded 71 tackles, had nine pass breakups and had three interceptions.
As for his talent, he was ranked as one of the best this past season. He graded out at a 72.7 overall defensive mark by Pro Football Focus. That put him as the 20th-best safety in the league. And when the pressure was greatest, from Week 16 and into the playoffs through to the Super Bowl he graded out at a 90.3 score which was the best mark for safety in the league.