1. Carl Lawson, DE, Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s defensive end was the name thrown around the most by both local and national media members over the weekend. The Athletic predicted Lawson will sign with the Browns.
Look for Lawson to be in play because he’s only 25, meaning he’s still “on the up.” He only had 5.5 sacks last season, but was reportedly second behind T.J. Watt with 32 quarterbacks hits. His 83 QB hits over the past four seasons are tied for 11th in the NFL.
If the Browns are able to sign Lawson, the transaction opens up the possibility of the Browns drafting a player such as linebacker Zaven Collins in the draft. It seemed unrealistic the Browns would pass on a linebacker in the first when there was such a grave need opposite of Myles Garrett.
Corner and safety would still be needs on draft day, but having Lawson secured for the next few seasons may just be what it takes for Berry and Paul DePodesta to green light Collins, if he’s available.
Lawson would be the Browns’ big signing, as Sportrac expects him to sign a four-year, $35 million contract.