3 Aging Browns Veterans Who Should Be Replaced in the NFL Draft

Three Cleveland Browns veterans getting up there in age that the team should consider drafting a replacement for in the 2024 NFL draft.
Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Cleveland Browns safety Rodney McLeod (26) celebrates a
Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns safety Rodney McLeod (26) celebrates a / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Shelby Harris

No one in the Dawg Pound wants to think about the Browns' defense without big Shelby Harris, but he is also a veteran likely nearing the end of his career.

Harris has been a solid force off the edge ever since his breakout campaign in 2017. After a successful run five-year with the Denver Broncos, Harris then spent a season with the Seattle Seahawks and then landed with Cleveland for 2023.

The former seventh-round pick turned out a be great fit for Jim Schwartz's defense, posting a solid 70.5 overall grade from ProFootballFocus while recording 28 tackles (17 solo, 6 for loss), 1.5 sacks, 5 passes defended and a forced fumble.

Harris' presence solidified the Browns' revamped front four and helped contribute to this defense ranking No. 2 in defensive DVOA and No. 1 in fewest yards allowed during the 2023 campaign.

That being said, it's clear Harris isn't the player he was at the peak of his powers. His sack totals have every seasons since 2021, and he's recorded less than 10 quarterback pressure in back-to-back years.

Harris also is only a rotational player at this stage. After playing between 55-60% of his team's defensive snaps from 2019-2022, that number dropped to just 42% in 2023.

He's still impactful when on the field, no doubt about it, but obviously his days of playing a majority of games are over.

That's why the Browns must target a potential successor in this draft. That would future-proof this defensive line if Harris starts to slide even further, while also opening the door for potential cap savings next offseason if Cleveland decides to cut the veteran in favor of playing a youngster more.

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