Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry deserves credit for improving the team’s roster in massive ways.
On paper, the Browns underwent upgrades in critical positions.
They brought in Amari Cooper, who became a cap casualty for the Dallas Cowboys.
They also paid attention to their special teams by adding wide receiver/return specialist Jakeem Grant from the Chicago Bears.
This offseason, their most significant acquisition was Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson on an unprecedented fully-guaranteed $230 million deal.
While the reason for Watson’s U-turn with the Browns remains unclear, imagine if all of their acquisitions played to expectations in 2022.
Watson is expected to miss some games, but it would be thrilling to see him throw dimes to Cooper, Grant, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Anthony Schwartz once he returns.
Meanwhile, Cooper is still at the top of his game despite a down year with Dallas in 2021.
He and Watson have the potential to become one of the top passing duos in the NFL.
However, the Browns need to bring in more receivers because they only have five on their active roster.
But aside from giving Watson more targets, the team also has urgent needs on their defensive front.
Jadeveon Clowney Hasn’t Been Re-signed
Clowney is still a free agent, roughly two weeks into the 2022 free agency period.
It would be nice for the Browns to have him back, especially after getting nine sacks and 37 tackles last season.
He is an ideal complementary player to Myles Garrett, and the Browns’ pass rush would lose some bite without him.
The team brought in Chase Winovich by trading linebacker Mack Wilson to the New England Patriots, but he’s better off as a backup.
After 11 sacks in his first two seasons, the Michigan alum had zero in 2021, with only 11 total tackles in 13 games.
Therefore, he’s not a viable replacement for Clowney but more of a second-stringer.
The Browns Feel Incomplete At Defensive Tackle
The team slightly improved their depth at defensive tackle by bringing in Taven Bryan from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He is an interesting addition because he can play at both defensive end and tackle.
But even with his presence, inexperience is still a significant concern for the Browns’ interior defensive linemen.
Last season, Malik McDowell had three sacks and 33 tackles for the Browns, but he remains a free agent.
Likewise, the team might not bring back 32-year-old Malik Jackson.
Without those players, their remaining defensive tackles aside from Bryan are 24-year-old Jordan Elliott and 22-year-old Tommy Togiai.
If they want someone with much experience, Cleveland can sign either Calais Campbell or Akiem Hicks on a short-term deal.
Nose tackle Linval Joseph is also an ideal bridge option for one year.
Aside from exploring those options, the Browns must delegate some of their picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to boost their defensive line.
That’s a pressing need, especially since they face Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow at least twice every year.
Curious if we gave up on Wilson a year earlier than we should have. We tend to hold the guys and continually give chances to those we shouldn’t and let go the guys we should hold onto. All feels like a guessing game, and we continually guess wrong. Frustrating!