Cleveland Browns: Road map to a division crown

The Cleveland Browns have made a lot of changes but will it be enough to take them to a division crown?

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Browns added talent at key positions

While even the best teams have flaws, they can't be in every phase of the game. The Browns had that issue. The defense was the most maligned, and rightfully so, as the defensive tackles were atrocious, and the pass rush outside of Myles Garrett was non-existent.

Communication issues doomed the secondary. But don't forget the lack of depth at wide receiver and the inconsistency across the board on special teams. All of this led to exactly what the team's record was, mediocre. 

Andrew Berry decided to go out and build the defensive line with a couple of strong signings in Dalvin Tomlinson and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and a shrewd trade with the Minnesota Vikings to get Za'Darius Smith. He also grabbed a few low-risk/high-reward candidates in Maurice Hurst and Trysten Hill and a big body in the draft in Siaki Ika for added depth. Berry fortified the backend with veteran safeties Juan Thornhill and Rodney McLeod. 

On offense, the Browns found a veteran speedster in Marquise Goodwin, who knows how to use his speed and traded for Elijah Moore, who is already making one-handed catches in OTAs. Both of these wideouts add legitimate depth behind a strong duo of Amari Cooper and Donovan People-Jones. We haven't even talked about third-round pick Cedric Tillman. They also brought back Ethan Pocic, who had a tremendous year in 2022 manning the middle of the line.

The coaching change was not the only help that special teams had this offseason. The Browns re-signed Jordan Kunaszyk, their best special teams player, and added Mike Ford and Matt Adams. Ford could be the gunner this unit needs, and Adams has played for Bubba Ventrone before and could provide linebacker depth.

Cade York will need to improve from last season, but having three kicks blocked did not help. With Ventrone running things and depth added, special teams need to be a weapon for the Browns in 2023 to overtake the Bengals.