The Cleveland Browns entered the 2022 season full of promise after two key offseason trades that added quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Amari Cooper to the roster.
The results did not align with the preseason aspirations as the Browns finished a disappointing 7-10.
One of the scapegoats was defensive coordinator Joe Woods who was immediately fired at the season’s end and replaced with a Super Bowl Champion, Jim Schwartz.
The Browns have a lot of work to do in the offseason (with limited draft picks because of the Watson trade). Below, we’ll break down what some of the top priorities should be for the team this summer.
- Browns Defense Needs: DT, LB, DE
Defensive tackles and linebacker help should be high priorities.
With Schwartz at the helm, it is certain that he will want to revamp a largely inexperienced 2022 DT roster that consisted of Taven Bryan, Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai, and Perrion Winfrey.
On the other hand, the Browns had quality linebackers on the roster but could not keep them healthy.
The team lost Anthony Walker Jr., Jacob Phillips, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and Sione Takitaki to season-ending injuries.
With Jadeveon Clowney no longer on the team, the Browns could look for a defensive end to counterattack with Myles Garrett.
Browns Offense Needs: WR, OL
With Deshaun Watson set to play an entire 2023 season, adding components around him on the Browns’ offense will be a top priority.
The Browns could use a fast wide receiver to add to the roster that consists of Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Cooper was a great addition and looks to have good chemistry with Watson, but more is better when giving Watson targets.
Protecting Watson is another area of interest as the Browns, once known as one of the best offensive lines in football, suffered from injuries and inconsistencies in 2022.
Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr., the team’s top pick in the 2020 draft, could be facing an uncertain future as he has not progressed in the way the Browns hoped.
Special Teams Needs
The Browns advanced their special teams talent pool in 2022 by signing returns specialist Jakeem Grant.
Unfortunately, Grant suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason and never took the field.
Though the Browns had a punt return touchdown from Donovan Peoples-Jones and a few decent runs from rookie Jerome Ford, the team does not have a seasoned special teams player of Grant’s caliber to lead this young group.
Some would argue that the team’s special teams issues should have resulted in the firing of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, but it appears he is safe for now.
The Browns are running on borrowed time with a young team full of promising stars like Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller, Denzel Ward, and Myles Garrett in the prime of their playing careers; offseason changes and a better 2023 season are imperative.