In 2017, the Cleveland Browns went through the entire season without tasting victory. What’s on the menu this offseason when it comes to fixing this team?
Despite the fact that the Cleveland Browns haven’t won a game since Week 16 of 2016, there is a lot of potential optimism for a franchise that owns a miserable 88-216 record since re-entering the league as an expansion team in 1999.
Hue Jackson and his 1-31 win-loss record return as the club’s head coach. But there’s a new general manager at the helm in John Dorsey – hired late in 2017. And well-regarded talent evaluator Scot McCloughan is on board as a consultant for the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s worth noting that the Browns have six of the top 65 selections in April, along with lots of salary-cap room (via Spotrac).
So what are five most important areas that this franchise needs to address over the next few months? No. 1 won’t be hard to figure out.
5. Address lack of depth at linebacker
When it comes to productivity, it’s hard to argue the numbers that the trifecta of middle man Joe Schobert and outside linebackers Christian Kirksey and one-time New England Patriots standout Jamie Collins posted for the Cleveland Browns this past season. The latter was limited to only six games, but still managed a combined 31 stops, to go along with one sack, one interceptions, a forced fumbled and three passes defensed.
Schobert led the club with 142 tackles, followed closely by Schobert (138). The former totaled three sacks and the latter managed 3.5 quarterback traps. The duo also combined for five forced fumbles and knocked down nine passes.
The young trio still has a lot of football. Backup James Burgess finished third on the team with 71 tackles, to go along with four sacks in place of Collins. But Gregg Williams’ unit could still use a little more support when it comes to this group. A little more depth in this area and this could be a Top 10 unit in the league.