The Cleveland Browns’ signing of Jadeveon Clowney gives them newfound flexibility in the 2021 NFL Draft.
CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns and a few-time Professional Bowl defensive conclude Jadeveon Clowney agreed to a a single-calendar year contract.
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With that in thoughts, let us re-rank the Browns position needs heading into the 2021 NFL Draft:
Analytics-driven front workplaces like the Browns never typically put a substantial emphasis on the linebacker position, but Cleveland could use an enhance nevertheless. Getting into 2021, the Browns have tiny invested in the place lengthy-expression and deficiency a confirmed change-maker in the group.
Following a sound 2020 time, veteran Malcolm Smith re-signed with Cleveland on a one-calendar year deal and 2020 third-spherical decide Jacob Phillips confirmed assure in his rookie period. Add in no cost-agent signee Anthony Walker Jr. and holdovers Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki and the Browns’ need to have at linebacker isn’t really always a urgent a person. But it continues to be possibly the most clear location in which Cleveland’s roster could stand to make improvements to.
4. Extensive receiver
The Browns are set to return their leading 4 vast receivers from a time back in Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Odell Beckham Jr. and Donovan Peoples-Jones, although the fifth, KhaDarel Hodge, continues to be a restricted totally free agent. But though Beckham’s return from previous year’s period-ending ACL injury must supply a increase, Cleveland could use some much more downfield speed in its receiving corps.
Considering the Browns’ emphasis on defense in free company, utilizing possibly their initially or next-round choose on a large receiver may possibly make some sense. Depending on how the to start with-round shakes out, there could be some promising speedsters on the board when Cleveland is scheduled to make its decide on at No. 26.
3. Defensive stop
In theory, the signings of Clowney and Takkarist McKinley should really enable the Browns fill the void left by Olivier Vernon, but it truly is worthy of noting that both of those players put together to appear in just 12 game titles final period. In addition, Clowney and McKinley every only signed for one particular-12 months contracts.
As a outcome, Cleveland could nonetheless shell out a draft choose on an edge defender as early as the initially spherical really should the right prospect be available. At a placement you can in no way have much too several superior players at, yet another pass rusher would only give the Browns additional versatility and maybe, a extended-term associate to pair reverse Myles Garrett.
2. Defensive deal with
Like defensive stop, Cleveland appears established at defensive deal with in the immediate foreseeable future, with Sheldon Richardson, Andrew Billings, Malik Jackson and Jordan Elliott all beneath agreement for 2021. The addition of Clowney should also give the Browns the flexibility to line up go-rushers across their defensive line in particular conditions.
But with Richardson, Billings and Jackson each and every in the closing a long time of their contracts, Cleveland could use a very long-phrase fixture at the position. Even though this year’s course might not be loaded with prime-finish defensive deal with prospective buyers, it would make feeling for the Browns to consider a swing on a large upside participant at the posture.
The Browns signed Troy Hill before this offseason, but the former Los Angeles Rams cornerback is greater suited to perform nickel than exterior. Even if Greedy Williams returns from a shoulder injury that cost him his entire 2020 time, both he and Denzel Ward have experienced histories battling injuries.
With edge defender no lengthier the pressing will need it appeared to be following the Clowney signing, cornerback moves to the major of the Browns’ draft wish record. Cleveland could, however, need to transfer up from 26 if it’s going to have a shot at drafting just one of the major players at the situation in this year’s draft.