The Cleveland Browns are on the brink of ending their near two-decade playoff drought.
GM Andrew Berry is a large reason why.
Ever since the arrival of both Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski, the culture in Cleveland has changed.
It appears that the years of dysfunction are in the past.
Here are three roster moves made by Berry that has the Browns with their first winning season since 2007.
3. Signing Jack Conklin
In the offseason, the Cleveland Browns brought in OL Jack Conklin.
Addressing the offensive line was a priority for the Browns after the 2019 season.
Baker Mayfield was sacked 40 times a season ago.
The #Browns pass protection has been ELITE this season, and this is how our offensive lineman rank in pass protection win rate:
Jedrick Wills: 94% [T-4]
Joel Bitonio: 98% [1st]
JC Tretter: 97% [2nd]
Jack Conklin 94% [T-4]
— For #13. (8-3) (@brownsculturee) December 4, 2020
This addition is paying big dividends as the offensive line is among the elite in 2020.
Conklin’s strength is also in run blocking, as he has helped Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt dominate opposing defenses.
2. Giving An Extension To Kareem Hunt
After giving Kareem Hunt a second chance in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns gave him a contract extension.
The Browns have Kareem Hunt under contract for three years, giving him a two-year, $13.25 million extension, a source told ESPN. https://t.co/gJCOUed6Kt
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 8, 2020
Hunt’s extension comes at a very reasonable price, as he will a be cap hit of about $6 million for the next two seasons.
Extending Hunt also gave Cleveland some reassurance just in case they are unable to work out a deal with Nick Chubb.
Hunt has also provided sufficient production for this Cleveland team.
The duo of him and Chubb are arguably the best in the NFL.
But, when Chubb missed several games with a knee injury, Hunt provided sufficient enough production as a starter.
Kevin Stefanski has instilled a run first mentality with this offense and it has paid dividends as the Browns have found much success on the year.
In fact, it has helped Baker grow and mature as a quarterback.
Lastly, Hunt is a viable option out of the backfield as a pass catcher.
On the year, he has as many catching touchdowns as rushing.
1. Drafting Jedrick Wills Jr. and Grant Delpit
In the first round of the 2020 draft, the Cleveland Browns used their round pick on LT Jedrick Wills Jr.
Coming out of Alabama, not too many were sure what to make out of Wills as their were many LT’s taken off the board in the first round.
But, I think Cleveland is happy with the pick as Wills has produced nicely all year long.
In their most recent game against the Tennessee Titans, Wills displays his immense strength as he tosses Harold Landry to the ground.
Check out Wills 'influence' Landry upfield here with thunder in his hands. pic.twitter.com/QRDmp6JBqm
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) December 7, 2020
The addition of Wills along with other free-agent acquisitions has allowed this Browns offense to establish their run first mentality.
Cleveland has one of the most deadly rushing attacks in this league and it is in large part due to the construction of this offensive line.
Jedrick Wills Jr: 1.9% QB pressure rate over the last 5 weeks:
🔸 1st among rookie OTs
🔸 4th among all NFL OTs pic.twitter.com/S2A55eyZVH
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 1, 2020
Wills has shown a lot of growth and improvement in his rookie season.
The Browns expended their second-round pick on safety out of LSU, Grant Delpit.
Unfortunately, Delpit suffered a season-ending injury before the start of the regular season.
But, he is expected to have a profound impact on this secondary when he is able to return.