3. Emergence of Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
A handful of players defensively deserve a lot of credit for the Cleveland Browns at this point, and obviously Myles Garrett is the biggest star of them all, but this team made a couple of additions in the 2023 offseason that have turned out to be massive.
Bringing in veteran Za'Darius Smith raised the floor of the Browns' pass rush substantially, but it was a more underrated addition to the pass rush unit that has made a major difference so far. That underrated addition is none other than Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
Okoronkwo didn't receive a ton of offseason or free agency fanfare, though he signed a really solid three-year deal worth $19 million in total money. For that kind of cash, you expect a guy to play a key role but Okoronkwo has been doing more than that. He's been the most impactful pass rusher on this Cleveland Browns team besides Myles Garrett.
Through four weeks, Okoronkwo has four QB hits, 2.5 sacks, and 5.0 tackles for loss. He's only played a handful of snaps less than Za'Darius Smith, so even though Okoronkwo isn't technically a "starter" for this Browns defense, he's 11th on the defense in snaps, so he's getting starter reps. And I would say, based on what we've seen in the early goings, his contributions have been arguably one of the most pleasant surprises on the whole roster.