2023 NFL Offseason report: Cleveland Browns

2M071EF Houston, Texas, USA. 4th Dec, 2022. Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) awaits the snap of the ball on the line of scrimmage during the second quarter of the game between the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX on December 4, 2022. (Credit Image: © Erik Williams/ZUMA Press Wire) Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Live News

Free agency recap: The Browns made it a point to improve the interior defensive line this offseason, starting with the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency.

• Best move of the offseason: In addition to the DL-focused moves made in the draft and free agency, the team also traded two future late-round picks to Minnesota for edge defender Za’Darius Smith, who racked up 84 total pressures last year for the Vikings.

• Outlook for 2023: Similar to the Ravens, the Browns have the pieces on both sides of the ball to make a championship run as long as their quarterback returns to top form.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes


As the dust settles on the 2023 NFL offseason, it's time to assess how each team fared in their quest to improve their roster.

Recapping blockbuster trades and high-profile signings to shrewd draft selections, PFF offers an in-depth assessment of all 32 NFL teams, shedding light on the potential impact these moves may have on their fortunes in the upcoming campaign.

For more information on each team's draft selections and offseason moves, download the PFF draft guide today!

CLEVELAND BROWNS OFFSEASON GRADE: A

2023 NFL Free Agency
FA signings FA losses
DI Dalvin Tomlinson EDGE Jadeveon Clowney (FA)
QB Jacoby Brissett RB Kareem Hunt (FA)
EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo DI Taven Bryan (IND)
C Ethan Pocic
S Juan Thornhill
S Rodney McLeod
LB Anthony Walker
CB Mike Ford
Free agency recap

The Browns made it a point to improve the interior defensive line this offseason, starting with the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency.

Tomlinson recorded a career-best 33 total pressures last year for Minnesota; the departed Taven Bryan managed 29 in Cleveland last year but at a win rate of just 6.7% compared to Tomlinson’s 12.9%.

On the back end, Juan Thornhill should be a solid starter for the Browns, as he was a dependable cog in Kansas City’s Super Bowl-winning machine in 2022. He made a ton of plays on the ball last season, including five interceptions and 11 total forced incompletions.

2023 Draft class

R3 (74): WR Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
R3 (98): DI Siaki Ika, Baylor
R4 (111): T Dawand Jones, Ohio State
R4 (126): EDGE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
R5 (140): QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
R5 (142): CB Cameron Mitchell, Northwestern
R6 (190): C Luke Wypler, Ohio State
R7 (242): S Anthony Johnson, Iowa State
R7 (256): WR Grant DuBose, Charlotte

2023 NFL Draft recap

The Browns gave up the rights to their 2023 first- and second-round picks last year as part of the Deshaun Watson trade, so they did not pick until the third round this year.

DI Siaki Ika is the standout of their draft class. He has the size and power to be a dominant run defender, but he also posted 75.0-plus pass-rush grades in each of the past three seasons.

A number of much-needed depth selections highlighted Day 3. Offensive tackle Dawand Jones has the potential to be a long-term starter at right tackle, and his Ohio State teammate, Luke Wypler, should develop into a solid backup center with the potential to start down the road.

Best move of the offseason: Committing to improving the defensive line

The Cleveland defense is headlined by perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett, but the rest of the front has been in desperate need of youth and talent.

In addition to the moves made in the draft and free agency, the team also traded two future late-round picks to Minnesota for edge defender Za’Darius Smith, who racked up 84 total pressures last year for the Vikings, his best effort since an impressive 112 in 2019 with the Packers.

Remaining team needs: Cornerback Depth

The Browns have a strong starting trio of cornerbacks in Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson and Greg Newsome II, but the depth behind them is questionable. Mike Ford is the likely No. 4 CB as of now, and in his last three seasons with Atlanta and Detroit, he played just 136 total coverage snaps with no interceptions and just four forced incompletions.

Ford will be challenged by 2023 fifth-round pick Cameron Mitchell. Mitchell earned a 66.7 coverage grade last year for Northwestern, and if he is unable to adjust quickly to NFL play, the Browns may need to look to the remaining free-agent pool for depth.

Early position battle to watch: S Grant Delpit vs. S Rodney McLeod

Current starting strong safety Grant Delpit has been serviceable during his first two seasons in the league, but after earning overall and coverage grades under 65.0, he will be looking to elevate his play in 2023.

He’ll be challenged by Rodney McLeod, who is coming off a very strong campaign for the Colts. He posted a career-best 85.3 coverage grade last season, bolstered by two interceptions and seven forced incompletions.

 2023 Outlook

Similar to the Ravens, the Browns have the pieces on both sides of the ball to make a championship run as long as their quarterback returns to top form.

Like Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, Watson now has significant upgrades at the skill positions — specifically due to a pre-draft trade with the Jets for WR Elijah Moore — which should help put him on the path to improved play.

The strength and depth of the division will make the road difficult, but this team is capable of playing with the league’s best on any given Sunday.

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