The safety position for the Cleveland Browns in 2020 felt like one constantly in the spotlight.
It was a position that needed addressed in the offseason, and Andrew Berry delivered.
The signing of John Johnson marks the official end of the Andrew Sendejo era of #Browns football.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) March 15, 2021
In Pro Football Focus’ top-32 safety rankings heading into 2021, two Cleveland Browns grazed the list.
While this list only had 25 people on it last offseason, there were zero Browns on it.
🥇 Justin Simmons
🥈 Harrison Smith
🥉 John Johnson III@PFF_Sam ranks the top 32 safeties ahead of the 2021 NFL season 💥 ⬇️
— PFF (@PFF) June 1, 2021
John Johnson III
The newly acquired John Johnson III, signed back in mid-March, is listed third on PFF’s list.
In their minds, Andrew Berry signed the third best safety in football this offseason.
That’s a pretty big deal, and for obvious reasons.
His PFF description details his value in Cleveland.
“Johnson has earned overall PFF and coverage grades of at least 80.0 in every healthy season he has played in the NFL, and now he gets the opportunity to show he can stay at that incredible level with a new team after his offseason move to Cleveland.”
With at least one interception in each of his four seasons play, Johnson III can help spark more turnovers for the Browns defense.
He’s a physical guy with great ball skills that will quickly endear himself to the orange and brown faithful.
Plus, he’s as excited as anyone to be in northeast Ohio.
“I feel like it was the opportunity of a lifetime”, Johnson said after the signing in regard to why he chose to sign with the Browns.
“Things are moving in the right direction, that’s like rare in this business… it’s rare that people care about you, people appreciate you, and people want to do things the right way. This city as a whole, let alone the organization, just drips that.”
Also on PFF’s list is Ronnie Harrison.
Harrison was brought in last year from Jacksonville in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick.
Harrison is on a top-32 positional list while most people reading this likely couldn’t name the guy that the Jaguars took with that pick.
So far, another win for Berry.
#Browns GM Andrew Berry on S Ronnie Harrison: I thought he played very well this year. Not easy task to learn new system, jump right in and make plays. We were excited about what we saw from Ronnie.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) January 20, 2021
PFF’s reasoning for placing Harrison on the list justifies the acquisition by the Browns front office.
“Harrison’s career wasn’t stellar in Jacksonville, but the second he was traded to Cleveland, he began to look like a different player, and that was within a secondary that wasn’t loaded with quality. In 2021, Harrison should be surrounded by a dramatically improved supporting cast and able to build on the overall PFF grade of 76.6 he posted in limited snaps last year.”
Harrison’s pick-six against the Colts last season showcased the ball-hawking ability the Alabama product has in his arsenal.
The highest graded #Browns on offense and defense in their victory over the Colts on Sunday (min. 25 snaps):
Joel Bitonio (80.4 )
Ronnie Harrison (79.6)pic.twitter.com/5oGerSfPcz
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) October 12, 2020
No Fly Zone
The secondary as a whole should be much healthier heading into this season than last.
It may not be perfect in September, but by the end of the season, this secondary with two top-32 safeties will be playoff ready.