There have been some drastic changes to the Cleveland Browns defensive line this offseason.
In fact, superstar pass rusher Myles Garrett remains the only returning starter on the d-line from last season.
General manager Andrew Berry wanted to shake up the defensive unit.
It remains to be seen whether these moves will be beneficial in the long run.
Nonetheless, Pro Football Focus recently released their rankings for all 32 NFL defensive lines heading into next season.
Where Does Cleveland Rank?
Surprising to some, the Browns did not make the cut for the top 10 defensive lines in the league.
In fact, PFF has the Browns listed right outside the top 10 at No. 11 in the NFL right now.
At first glance, that might be shocking, but the Browns did downgrade at defensive tackle.
In 2020, Billings sat out due to COVID-19 concerns, while Elliott played well with a limited role behind Ogunjobi and Richardson.
Jordan Elliott grade through two games: 78.2
🔸 1st among rookie DTs
🔸 10th among all NFL DTs pic.twitter.com/r1LMsgqUEV
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 22, 2020
The addition of Jadeveon Clowney should be viewed as an upgrade to the d-line in Cleveland.
A three-time Pro Bowl player who should be able to bring more to the table than Olivier Vernon.
The only AFC North team that ranks higher than the Browns is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In fact, Pro Football Focus has the Steelers ranked as the best defensive line in the entire NFL.
Both the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are ranked in the mid-20s, according to Pro Football Focus.
A Fair Placement For Cleveland?
Honestly, ranking the Browns at No. 11 feels a bit generous.
This is basically a brand new defensive line besides Garrett.
The two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher is likely the only reason the Browns are even ranked within the top 20.
Garrett is the type of player that is a threat to get at quarterback on every single snap.
Myles Garrett’s spin move before the sack 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 4, 2020
The health of Clowney is always a huge question mark.
It’s unlikely that the Browns are going to get a full 17-game season out of Clowney.
His presence should help Garrett, but it remains to be seen what Clowney can actually offer Cleveland.
The Browns might end up playing musical chairs with their defensive tackles.
They currently have Malik Jackson, Marvin Wilson, Tommy Togiai, and a few other options behind their projected starters.
The defensive line in Cleveland would be well below average without Garrett on the roster.
PFF gave the Browns the benefit of the doubt with the No. 11 spot, but we’ll see if they can live up to it.