It's a pass-first league which means NFL teams can't have too many pass rushers or defensive backs on their respective rosters. The Cleveland Browns understand this as well as anyone, which is why they've worked to solidify both these parts of their defense in recent years.
Now with the 2023 season quickly approaching, we look at how their secondary stacks up in the AFC North. Are their offseason moves enough to put them ahead of their rivals?
4. Cincinnati Bengals
For the past two seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals have been the team to beat in the AFC North. They won the division in 2021 with a 10-7 record and then made it to the Super Bowl — coming up just short against the Los Angeles Rams. They again won the North with 12 wins this past season and while they didn't get back to the big game, they were still one of the best teams in the AFC.
As good as they've been, their secondary hasn't been carrying them. Cincinnati currently has Cam Taylor-Britt and Chidobe Awuzie as their starting corners. While Awuzie has been better in Cincy than he was in Dallas, he's not a prototypical No. 1 cornerback.
Mike Hilton is their slot corner and right now and he's not far behind Awuzie with a 67.1 grade from PFF compared to 69.9 for Awuzie.
To their credit, they have added some youth recently with Dax Hill and 2023 draft pick Jordan Battle. Even with their addition, they enter this year last in the division.