The Browns boast one of the league’s best defenses.
Anchored by stars like Myles Garrett on the line and a well-balanced secondary that includes Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome, the defense is packed everywhere with proven talent.
Everywhere, that is, except at defensive tackle.
If Garrett strikes fear in the hearts of opposing offensive linemen, then projected starting tackles Taven Bryan and Jordan Elliott do the exact opposite.
But the Browns might have their sights set on beefing up the line, even this late into the offseason.
Looking for outside help isn’t surprising, given the Browns’ current options at tackle.
Since being taken No. 88 overall in 2020, Elliott has amassed just 41 tackles.
Bryan, a former first-round pick by the Jaguars in 2018, has just 86 tackles in his career.
Throw in fourth-round selection Perrion Winfrey as a potential minutes-earner this season as a rookie.
But as exciting as Winfrey’s introduction to Cleveland has been, he’s an unproven quantity.
And a lack of talent at the position is a big reason why the Browns’ D-Line was ranked No. 20 overall by PFF, despite Garrett’s individual heroism:
“Cleveland will be lucky to sniff close to the same level of play on their interior, as its defensive tackles collectively earned the fifth-lowest grade of any group in the league last season. The Browns did add Perrion Winfrey in the draft, but he doesn’t profile as the interior run stuffer that this roster needs.”
If it’s obvious to fans and analysts, it’s plainly clear to the front office and coaching staff.
This is why the team is interested in bringing in veteran tackle Ndamukong Suh, according to USA Today’s Tyler Dragon.
“Should we really pay Jessie Bates” my dear friend you should be paying Ndamukong Suh it’s turbo time
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) July 16, 2022
Over his 12 seasons in the NFL, Suh has consistently been one of football’s best tackles.
He’s been good for 12 sacks over the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with 71 tackles over that stretch.
Suh has also been reliably healthy, having started every game over the last two campaigns.
But Suh is also entering his age-35 season.
And last season, Suh recorded a career-worst 27 tackles on the season.
It’s a figure that’s been steadily declining since 2018.
At this point in his career, Suh’s name carries more weight than his actual playing ability.
Nonetheless, he might be a good mentor for the young Winfrey and a solid depth option at tackle.
The Browns apparently also have interest in adding depth at edge rusher.
Per Browns insider Brad Stainbrook, Cleveland is looking into a possible reunion with Takkarist McKinley.
It would be an interesting add, considering the Browns spent a third-round pick on defensive end Alex Wright.
Further, McKinley suffered a torn Achilles in Week 14 last season and could miss significant time recovering.
But McKinley played well last season, backing up starters Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney.
In 11 games last season, McKinley went for 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits.
Takk McKinley has a higher pressure rate than T.J. Watt
— Sam Penix (@Sam_Penix) October 4, 2021
Given their current depth, the Browns likely wouldn’t force McKinley back into action anytime soon.
Rather, they could let him heal fully, giving them options if Clowney departs next season as a free agent.