3. Cleveland Browns De Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney’s best sack seasons came playing opposite of J.J. Watt while with the Texans. He had 9.5 in 2017 and 9.0 in 2018. I’m not looking for Clowney to all of a sudden become Reggie White, because it’ just not his game.
He’s been excellent at defending the run and possesses the athletic ability to seal the edge.
But if he can get some pressures rushing opposite of Garrett and force Mahomes into making mistakes, then he’ll be well on his way to becoming a fan favorite.
Keeping the pocket contained is also critical, as I celebrated my 100th nightmare of Chad Henne outrunning the entire Browns defense to seal Cleveland’s playoff doom. Clowney better be an upgrade over Adrian Clayborn.
It’ll also be interesting to watch how/when Clowney flips to the inside. We didn’t see Takk McKinley much at camp, but the Browns obviously really like him. They tried to acquire him twice last season.
The recipe for beating elite quarterbacks hasn’t changed. Put the pressure on Mahomes and force him into errors. It is possible. The Browns didn’t a season ago and have the weapons to execute it on defense.