Cleveland Browns: 3 free agent defensive tackles that would move the needle

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Sheldon Rankins, Browns
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1. Sheldon Rankins, DT, New York Jets

Another defensive tackle that will likely get a lot of attention this offseason is Sheldon Rankins of the New York Jets. He's had a steady career and is known most for playing well against the run. Cleveland needs help in this department desperately and Rankins may not cost the big bucks that a few other linemen might cost in free agency.

Rankins started his career with the New Orleans Saints but has played in New York for the last two seasons. He's tallied 23.5 sacks, 191 tackles including 43 last season, 34 tackles for losses, and forced four fumbles. With PFF's grading, he finished with a 73.1 overall score. He's not a flashy player but gets the job done. He's good against the run and can get into the backfield and create problems for the offense.

In PFF free agency rankings, he's sitting at No. 63 out of 100 which shows his value to teams that pursue him this offseason. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Rankins becoming a Cleveland Brown if it came down to the three choices we've discussed here.

While Hargrave seems like the touchdown pick here for Cleveland, he also would cost a lot and I'm not that sure that this Browns front office is committed to improving the defensive tackle position as much as many of us are discussing these days on social media platforms.

I know it takes time to build a winning program, but the Browns issues on the interior of the defensive line have been problems for several years now. Why wasn't Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry more aggressive in the past in reference to this glowing area of weakness? We hear that he's being aggressive in his chatter this offseason, so we shall see if anything changes this go around.

We'll know a lot more in about a week about what the Browns are going to do in selecting a few free agents. Any of these players we've discussed would be upgrades for the line, so stay tuned.

Next. 5 free agent defensive tackles for Browns to target in 2023. dark