There don’t seem to be many holes in the Cleveland Browns 2021 roster.
Andrew Berry might not be done tweaking things, but the most obvious openings are filled.
The offense that ran so well with Baker Mayfield over the final half of 2020 returns intact.
Andrew Berry puts emphasis on 'longer-term focus' rather than 'instant gratification' with draft picks
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 24, 2021
And they should be even better with Odell Beckham Jr and Anthony Schwartz spreading defenses.
Headlines in Cleveland rave about the Browns’ overhauled defense.
There could be 9 new starters on what was more an average unit than the train wreck they were portrayed as.
Free agency and the NFL Draft are further supplemented by players returning from injury.
One hell of a first season together for GM Andrew Berry and HC Kevin Stefanski. The future is bright for the @Browns
— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) January 17, 2021
But just because the Cleveland Browns are stronger doesn’t mean they are perfect.
Here are the 2 most concerning position groups on the Browns roster.
1. Secondary Depth
John Johnson III might be the best free-agent signing of the season, by any team.
The former Ram was not only the highest-rated safety in the free-agent market.
But he wanted to be a Brown as much as the Browns wanted him.
Ronnie Harrison settles in at free safety and Grant Delpit will jump in on nickel and dime sets.
The trio has the makings of a Super Bowl-caliber player group.
New Browns safety John Johnson III called signing with Cleveland the "opportunity of a lifetime." Things have certainly changed in Berea. Video: Cleveland Browns pic.twitter.com/00J3vRUmvn
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) March 19, 2021
But what about when they aren’t on the field?
Sheldrick Redwine took a definitive step back last season and presents a steep drop-off from any starter.
Late-round draft pick Richard LeCounte could be the best of the lot once he recovers from a 2020 dirtbike crash.
But that’s a lot of unproven youth to cover any injuries or an unexpected turn of events.
2. Kicking Game
We can’t blame Cody Parkey for sporting the fifth-lowest field goal total in the NFL last season.
Cleveland ran fewer plays with fewer possessions than most other teams.
And Kevin Stefanski’s aggressiveness has as much to do with not trying long field goals as any Parkey concern.
But the fact is Cody Parkey had the 9th worst field goal percentage and 7th worst extra point percentage.
He also boasted the lowest kickoff touchback percentage, which brings us to another ugly truth.
Welcome back, Cody❗️
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 19, 2021
Parkey is not the biggest problem on the kicking team.
Placing the kickoff short of the end zone is a good idea if you have an excellent coverage unit.
But the Browns had no such unit last season, posting a fifth-worst 26.3-yard return average against.
This makes the notation of how Cleveland re-signed a few backup players for their special team skills a concern.
And journeyman kicker Chase McLaughlin (78.6 FG%, 33% touchback) does not provide an upgrade.