Browns pass-rusher Ogbo Okoronkwo has lofty goals for 2024 campaign

Ogbo Okoronkwo expects big things from himself in his second season with the Browns
Cleveland Browns, Ogbo Okoronkwo
Cleveland Browns, Ogbo Okoronkwo / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Cleveland Browns added a couple of pass rushers to bolster their defensive line. In free agency, they signed Ogbo Okoronkwo, who showed promise in 2022 with the Houston Texans. They also traded for Za’Darius Smith, who had 10 sacks the prior year with the Minnesota Vikings.

Smith had 5.5 sacks as the primary starter across from Myles Garrett whereas Okoronkwo provided 4.5 off the bench. He missed three games due to a pectoral injury and returned in Week 18 but didn’t record any statistics.

Recently, Okoronko spoke to a panel about mental health awareness but still found himself answering football questions. He said that he’s fully healed and ready for a big 2024 season. Okoronkwo even revealed his personal goal for the season, which is to hit double-digit sacks for the first time in his career. 

Okoronkwo has been steadily improving as a pass rusher since entering the league as a fifth-round pick in 2018. He was selected by the Los Angeles Rams out of Oklahoma and after missing his rookie season due to foot surgery, he recorded 34 tackles and 4.5 sacks in three seasons.

He signed with the Texans in 2022 and showed serious promise with 44 tackles and five sacks. That performance led to Cleveland bringing him in on a three-year deal worth $19 million last season.

Okoronkwo has the talent to hit his mark of 10-plus sacks but it might not be that easy. With Smith, Garrett, and Alex Wright on the edge, there’s a lot of talent to contend with. Throw in Maurice Hurst, Dalvin Tomlinson, Shelby Harris, and Michael Hall, Jr. as the top defensive tackles and he might not be able to get to the quarterback as often as he would like.

While all that talent will lead to plenty of one-on-one opportunities, Okoronkwo will still have to get to the quarterback before his teammates do. That’s a great problem for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to work with.

More Browns coverage