3. New starting DE
Remember the name Curtis Weaver? He was a guy tied heavily to the Browns in the 2020 NFL Draft. He ended up being selected by the Dolphins in the fifth round.
He was a sack machine at Boise State in 2019, tallying 13.5 in his final season in the Mountain West Conference. Ahead of the draft, several pundits tied him to the Browns. Cleveland didn’t draft him, but picked him up after he suffered a season ending injury and was waived by Miami. He’ll be healthy and Cleveland will give him a shot. Essentially the Browns are bringing in a bonus draft pick.
I also expect the Browns to address the position through the draft. Perhaps it’s in the first round. If not then, then maybe the second. Either way, Cleveland will field a new defensive end opposite of Myles Garrett. Olivier Vernon was going to be a free agent, and then ruptured his ACL in the final month of season. Until the injury, I thought extending Vernon with a lower cap number was something that should’ve been seriously considered.
But with the injury, Cleveland needs to find a new starter. There’s some mock drafters who believe Cleveland could take one in the first round. Someone like Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari could be in play, but he’s probably stronger against the run, than getting after quarterbacks right now. That’s not a bad thing, but the Browns need a true complement to Garrett.
Additionally, the Browns should bring back Adrian Clayborn back next season. He’s due $3 million. He played well against the Chiefs and the backup role suits him well.