4 Cleveland Browns who will make or break 2023 season

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
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2. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT

There weren't many teams worse against the run than the Browns last season, which was a constant source of frustration. They surrendered 2,295 yards on the year while giving up 4.7 yards per attempt.

Their worst stretch came in Week 4 and Week 5 as they were gashed for 202 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons followed by a 238-yard outing for the Los Angeles Chargers who won 30-28.

Each of those games could have been winnable had the defense been able to stop the opposing ground game. And with a team that went 7-10 overall, those two victories would have been huge.

That's why the front office decided to make the moves they did this offseason. They moved on from defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who wanted to stop the run on the way to the quarterback, and brought in Jim Schwartz. A more experienced and successful coordinator, Schwartz knows how important it is to have size in the middle of the defense.

He's now got the weapons as well with Dalvin Tomlinson, Siaki Ika, Trsyten Hill, and Maurice Hurst, Jr. joining the ranks. While all will have a role with this defense, Tomlinson is the one they'll be leaning on most.

A former second-round pick, Tomlinson signed a four-year deal worth $57 million. Cleveland was interested in other players as well, such as Dre'Mont Jones, but Tomlinson always felt like the best fit. At 325 pounds, he's big enough to occupy multiple blockers and he still brings pressure on third downs as well.

His presence is going to be key for this defense all season. If he does his job and slows down the run, that will help free up everyone else — and could lead to a much better campaign than we saw a year ago.