The defense of the Cleveland Browns needs a massive overhaul this offseason if they truly want to contend.
For as many positive strides the Cleveland Browns offense took this season, the same does not apply to their defense. Watching the Cleveland defense this past season was an exercise in frustration. If they were unable to force turnovers or take advantage of mistakes, chances are they are giving up points in one way or another. One thing is abundantly clear heading into next season, the Browns defense needs a massive overhaul.
There are multiple reason why the defense struggled so much. A combination of injuries, questionable schemes, and non-effective players led to a unit that came up short more often than not. Injuries are something that every team has to deal with, but not having second round pick and presumptive starter Grant Delpit for the entire season definitely had an adverse effect on the defense. While Ronnie Harrison was a nice find in season, Karl Joseph, Andrew Sendejo, and Sheldrick Redwine left a lot to be desired at the safety position. Every once in a while one of the aforementioned trio would make a play, but they were few and far between.
There are ways for the Browns to fix their defense next season and honestly any move they make would be an upgrade. Acquire an impact starter on defense via trade or free agency. Position really does not matter because outside of Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward everyone is replaceable. Next they must add rotational help that will supplement their locked in starters. Finally, Cleveland must use the majority of their draft picks on defense. A best defensive player available approach would allow the team to make the leaps on the defensive side of the ball they desperately need.
Based on the offensive focused approached to the previous offseason, it is easy to imagine that Andrew Berry and Co. will flip that approach and apply it to the defense. The shortcomings of defense are apparent to everyone and the current Browns regime is smart enough to recognize that. If they are able to improve the defense they may be able to capitalize on what appears to be an open contention window.