Cleveland Browns: Offseason needs

Cleveland have a long road back to relevance and a new general manager to try and lead the way. Where should they focus their resources this offseason?


(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

The new league year is just around the corner, and with it comes the chance for teams to reshape their roster and improve their standing within the NFL. No one has more to do that the Browns, who have won just one game in the last two years and are so low on the NFL totem pole that just climbing a few spots in 2018 will be a remarkable success.

Coming into this offseason they have a huge $110 million in cap space and six picks in the top 65 selections of the 2018 draft. Where should they focus their resources this offseason if they want to make moves out of the pit of despair they have been living in these last few years?

Quarterback

This is the obvious one. The Browns have changed quarterbacks more often than Josh McCown changes team. They used three in 2017, five in 2016, and three in 2015. Just finding one guy they can stick with for one season would be a success in Cleveland.

With their cap space they can throw stacks of money at the best quarterbacks in free agency, though it is likely that none of them would want to go to Cleveland given their lack of competitiveness.

Which leaves the draft. With the first and fourth picks this year the Browns have plenty of opportunities to land a signal caller, and there are a lot of good options this year with Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen all possible candidates for that #1 pick.

There has been some suggestion from talking heads that the Browns should use both their first round picks on quarterbacks and let them battle it out, but that seems a bit too far fetched.

Reports are that the Browns like big-armed Wyoming man Josh Allen, though many see him as a weaker prospect than the rest. We will have to wait until draft day to find out who the latest savior of Cleveland will be though.

Secondary

Many of the Browns recent investments have been up front on the defense. With Myles Garrett being their #1 guy last season and the likes of Danny Shelton (2015 1st round), Emmanuel Ogbah (2016 2nd round) and Nate Orchard (2015 2nd round) also roaming around. But they have neglected the secondary to a worrying degree.

Last year saw Jason McCourty and Jamar Taylor start most of the games at corner for them, with rookie Jabrill Peppers and second-year Derrick Kindred playing safety. 

The Browns could easily throw money at Malcolm Butler, Patrick Robinson, or Lamarcus Joyner in free agency, and that fourth overall pick is likely to go on someone like Denzel Ward or Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Running game

The next place the Browns should look to invest is in their running game. While they brought in Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter on the offensive line last year, the loss of Joe Thomas and some indecisiveness with the running back position limited their success on the ground.

With Isaiah Crowell heading to free agency and the right tackle spot still an issue for the Browns there is plenty of room to add talent to their running attack and find a way to compliment and protect their new passer.

If Saquon Barkley is still available at #4 then Cleveland may well be interested but the college ranks have provided plenty of NFL-ready runners in recent years and they could easily find a star in the third round too, or bring Carlos Hyde back to Ohio if they wanted to invest some cap space in a proven veteran.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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