Browns GM John Dorsey has spent a considerable amount of time reworking the defensive line.
Last year, the Browns released Carl Nassib who signed with the Buccaneers.
They traded Emmanuel Ogbah to the Chiefs as well as released Nate Orchard.
Some of Dorsey’s biggest moves this offseason were trading for Olivier Vernon and signing Sheldon Richardson via free agency.
Last year in only 11 games played, Vernon had 7 sacks and a forced fumble.
Richardson’s career began as the No. 13 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
He was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 78 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble for the New York Jets.
He also made the Pro Bowl in 2014.
Pairing Vernon and Richardson with starters Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi has added much hype to an already talented line.
NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling has pegged the Browns defensive line as one of the league’s deepest.
Wesseling says “Myles Garrett graduated from first overall pick with potential to the terror coming off the edge to occupy the mind of the opposing coaching staff and fanbase each time the quarterback steps back to throw in crunch time. The total package at defensive end, Garrett is NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s bold pick for 2019 Defensive Player of the Year. A bit of a lone wolf last year, Garrett will now have the luxury of lining up opposite Olivier Vernon, often the single bright spot on the Giants‘ defense, once his nagging ankle injury healed in November and December. Similarly, unheralded run-stuffer Larry Ogunjobi has help in the form of rent-a-tackle Sheldon Richardson, who got his career back on track with a strong season in Minnesota. Along with Cleveland’s remodeling, the Jaguars, Panthers, Chargers and Colts deserve mention for their own overhauls up front.”
The additions of Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson – with Garrett and Ogunjobi already in the fold – have made the #Browns pass-rush a top-3 unit heading into 2019https://t.co/X8PjiDVHdM pic.twitter.com/Xb1wDboYQV
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) July 18, 2019
Wesseling is not the only one who is building hype around the Browns defensive line.
Michael Renner at Pro Football Focus has ranked the Browns defensive line 3rd on his list.
Renner says “One of the biggest movers this offseason. Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson are easy plug-and-play options who earned pass-rushing grades of 86.0 and 65.8 respectively last season.”
While much of the surrounding hype is great, it will be curious to see how the depth of the line plays a factor as the season progresses.
The Browns starting defensive line certainly looks good on paper, but keeping those starters fresh and healthy is always a concern.
The backups will be something to keep an eye on moving forward.
If they can hold their own, the defensive line could potentially live up to the preseason hype.
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