2023 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns shocked the football community last offseason when they traded away three first round picks (six picks total) for the rights to quarterback Deshaun Watson. They later agreed to a hefty new contract with $230 million in guaranteed money. I expect Watson to have fully shaken the rust off ahead of the 2023 season.
With all-world running back Nick Chubb in tow, this offense has a lot of talent. Donovan Peoples-Jones took a huge leap in his third NFL season, Amari Cooper had the best season that no one’s talking about, and David Njoku looks ready to finally deliver on his tantalizing potential. As a result, I believe the Browns will prioritize the defensive side of the ball.
Top Draft Needs: IDL, EDGE, S
This is a defense that should see substantial change this offseason. With the recent firing of defensive coordinator Joe Woods, the Browns may experience a scheme change. Jerod Mayo and Brian Flores are both strong candidates for the job, each favoring a base 3-4 defense. Jim Schwartz, also a candidate, runs a 4-3. The departing Joe Woods ran a 4-2-5.
Regardless, the Browns will need help on the interior defensive line and at the EDGE. Defensive tackle was their biggest weakness all season but it’s also increasingly obvious that Jadeveon Clowney will not be back with Cleveland next season. The Browns will have to address their several holes up front.
Cleveland could also look for an upgrade at the safety position, which was once considered a strength for this unit. Ronnie Harrison has regressed to being almost unplayable, and is set to become a free agent. Grant Delpit is talented, but wildly inconsistent, and will be set for free agency next offseason. John Johnson III has been okay, not good, and is also set to be a free agent next offseason. Drafting a free safety in April is a strong possibility.