5 players the Cleveland Browns should still sign in free agency

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3. Juan Thornhill, Safety

After failing to sign a rumored favorite of theirs, Jessie Bates, the Cleveland Browns are left with a glaring hole at free safety, following the release of John Johnson III. With a relatively weak safety draft class, I think it's imperative to fill the void with some sort of veteran.

Juan Thornhill was one of my favorite players coming out of the 2019 NFL Draft. At the University of Virginia, he exhibited exceptional ball skills, which is a quality that new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz should be searching for, taking over a defense that was bottom-ten in the league in interceptions in 2022.

Thornhill displayed his incredible speed and athleticism at the Combine, ranking in the 99th percentile with both his vertical and broad jump, and running a 4.42 forty-yard dash. That athletic ability is still evident on tape for the Chiefs, with Thornhill excelling in zone coverage deep down the field.

According to Pro Football Focus, Thornhill was the 20th-best safety in the league in 2022, with an overall grade of 72.7. Further, he was top 12 amongst qualifying safeties with a 75.2 coverage grade.

Thornhill also set career highs with 71 combined tackles (4 for loss) and 9 pass deflections in 2022. This shows that he has the versatility to play as a split safety, holding his own around the line of scrimmage but still being a perfect candidate to fill that true free safety role in Schwartz's defense, with Grant Delpit primarily playing in the box in 2023.