Andrew Berry drafted 9 players and signed 14 more undrafted free agents this past weekend.
But the Cleveland Browns general manager never stops trying to improve his roster.
Berry has a few spots available before hitting the league’s 90-man preseason maximum.
Developmental experiments like basketball players learning to play tight end won’t impact 2022.
#Browns GM Andrew Berry says his focus is on the draft and will focus on areas like D’Ernest Johnson after the draft ends.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) April 22, 2022
And that has to be the priority for Berry and the rest of the Browns management and coaches.
Cleveland’s draft looks like it will provide some contributors to this season’s campaign.
But the Browns’ after-draft analysis will find some holes in what Berry called a “not perfect” roster.
And in case they need another opinion, here are the 3 biggest needs for the Browns after the draft.
Established Threat at Edge
Fans and coaches are rightfully excited about Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas.
It is not far-fetched to see the pair playing a big role someday for the Browns.
But they are rookies, and they have never been tested by the speed, strength, and skills of NFL players.
And neither has played a 17-game season before, either.
“Everyday that goes by that Jadeveon Clowney doesn’t sign somewhere else, makes it more and more likely he re-signs in Cleveland” @NathanZegura on the Jadeveon Clowney #Browns
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) April 27, 2022
Berry added a slew of journeymen edge rushers to complement Myles Garrett.
But Cleveland and Garrett still need that established threat opposite their perennial Pro Bowler.
All eyes are on Jadeveon Clowney as he enjoys his offseason and makes us wait to learn what team he signs with.
Berry has to make sure other options don’t disappear in the meantime.
In a league and a defense that likes to play 3-safety sets, 3 experienced safeties are not enough on a roster.
But that is exactly what the Browns have after the draft with John Johnson, Ronnie Harrison, and Grant Delpit.
Joe Woods hopes 2021 draft pick Richard LeCounte is ready to contribute this season.
But LeCounte has only a handful of NFL snaps under his belt.
Making his NFL debut, Browns safety Grant Delpit just *leveled* Davis Mills.pic.twitter.com/PkBbF0ZmGK
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 19, 2021
And that is a handful more than recently signed UDFA D’Anthony Bell of West Florida
Free-agent safeties are not plentiful and unless he plans to trade or wait for August releases, Berry needs to act fast.
Landon Collins and Tashaun Gipson are the biggest names available post-draft.
But even bringing back Montrel Meander provides a little breathing room for the group.
Who Is The Third Tight End?
Cleveland is not likely to use nearly as many 3-tight end sets this year as they did last year.
Injuries at tackle played a big role in the team’s disproportionate use of the third big receiver.
But Stefanski is not likely to shy away from 2-tight end sets, despite a wealth of wideouts and Deshaun Watson.
And that means he has to be ready to cover an injury or Covid-induced loss of either David Njoku or Harrison Bryant.
Petzing on the success of utilizing 3 tight end sets.
📼: https://t.co/Sgc6Ff1hNK pic.twitter.com/JCP3Bujn5W
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 15, 2021
Right now, the team has 4 unproven tight ends on the roster behind their starting tandem.
Miller Forristall took 11 offensive snaps and made a special teams tackle, the only statistic registered by the 4.
Berry is unlikely to sign a big name to share the room with Njoku and Bryant.
But a young veteran like Kaden Smith or Chris Herndon could provide some inexpensive receiving depth.
Cleveland’s wide receiver room filled up in a hurry between the draft and 3 UDFAs.
But even the returning players are a young lot and could use another veteran besides Amari Cooper.
Jakeem Grant will help, but Jarvis Landry or a similar type of veteran presence would calm the room.
Likewise, Sheldon Day and Bryan Taven add some years to a young interior defensive line.
#Browns GM Andrew Berry said drafting DE Alex Wright and WR David Bell won't affect likelihood of re-signing Jadeveon Clowney or Jarvis Landry. "Any veteran additions would really be independent."
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) April 30, 2022
But Berry might consider adding a more-proven veteran for his young troops to follow.
Tony Fields did not see any time at linebacker last year, and he’ll need to make a contribution this time.
But it wouldn’t hurt to get a more experienced backup for Anthony Walker in the middle.
Cleveland has a lot of young talent that will eventually take over, but they could use a few savvy vets at this point.
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