The 2023 NFL Trade Deadline is just hours away now and the Cleveland Browns have to decide if they want to be buyers as they aim to make a second-half push for the playoffs.
On defense, they seem to be just fine. Jim Schwartz has helped turn this unit around and has somehow unlocked another level for Myles Garrett, who is playing out of his mind. As for their offense, that's been a different story.
Cleveland has several pieces but injuries and a lack of depth have been slowing them down. That's why it would make sense for them to add someone at the deadline but don't look for them to make a huge splash. Instead, they could look to one of these three under-the-radar targets to round out their offense.
D'Ernest Johnson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Undrafted out of South Florida in 2018, D'Ernest Johnson took advantage of the opportunity afforded to him by the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football. Cleveland liked what they saw out of Johnson during his time in the short-lived league and wound up signing him one month after the their season ended.
He then spent the next four years with the Cleveland Browns before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. In Jacksonville, he's buried on the depth chart behind Travis Etienne and Tank Bigsby, which is why he could be available at the NFL Trade Deadline.
Johnson hasn't seen the ball much at all in 2023 and that was also the case in 2022 with the Browns. He was behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and wound up with just four rushing attempts for 17 yards.
The year before this, however, he rose to the occasion when given a shot. With Hunt missing time, he had 534 yards on 100 attempts with three touchdowns. In all, he had 738 yards for Cleveland during his tenure while averaging 5.2 yards per attempt.
With Chubb out for the year and Jerome Ford recently getting banged up, it might not be a bad idea to add someone who knows the offense and can contribute right away.