Cleveland Browns: Which Browns players could switch to a 3-4 defense?

Cleveland Browns Joe Schobert (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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Those who might

When you see these two names, it’s entirely possible that both players find a second life on the Browns with a change in defensive schemes. Olivier Vernon and Larry Ogunjoby had moderately disappointing years in 2019. Fans had higher expectations with Ogunjoby and Vernon was someone that was brought over with great fanfare but did absolutely nothing of relevance during the year. A change of scheme could be totally what they need.

Vernon might be undersized to play defensive end in a 4-3 but could play a 3-4 backer position with ease. Vernon is fast enough and big enough to play the outside spot and has shown good enough pass-rushing skills to be opposite of Garrett in the scheme. The problem that is negated by a 3-4 that Vernon would find himself in is that he’s potential too-small to shed offensive tackles. Against the offensive line, Vernon at times gets bullied off the line of scrimmage. Placing him a few yards back and allowing him to avoid engaging at the point of contact while letting the ends ahead of him fill gaps, could allow him to get free more often to make plays.

He could also totally still suck.

As for Ogunjoby, he could really benefit from playing off the B and C gaps as a 3-4 defensive end. He’s strong enough to engage with tackles and quick enough to pester with guards, meaning he’d be ideal in playing the position. That said, he’s not known for his 3-4 style. He’s a better pass-rushing 4-3 defensive tackle than a gap filing end. Yet, he can get depth and that’s especially important in the potential new scheme. He’s entirely capable but we’ll see if he’s able if this change happens.

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