Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The off-season is all about improving your team and the Cleveland Browns did that when they traded Kevin Zeitler for Olivier Vernon. While this is somewhat of a risky move because Baker Mayfield will lose a tough offensive linemen up front. It’s smart because at the end of the day defense wins championships. Mayfield is a talented enough guy who can make more out of less and the combination of Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon should give the Browns offense way more possessions. Cleveland will be able to stop drives and get off the field on third down with Garret and Vernon coming off the edges. If you’re an opposing quarterback that’s such a tough match-up and there’s isn’t going to be much room to operate in the pocket.
Garrett has already tallied up 20.5 sacks over his first two seasons and he should be even better now that offenses can’t focus solely on him. Olivier Vernon is also good for at least 7 sacks a year and life should be much easier for him now that he doesn’t have to go up against those elite NFC East tackles (Tyron Smith, Jason Peters, Trent Williams). The final piece for the Browns would be getting a dominant interior guy to place right between Garrett and Vernon. Ohio States Dre’Mont Jones could be an option on the table and he will collapse the pocket from the inside gaps (A and B). Jones recorded 8.5 sacks last year in Columbus and that would be the perfect part to round out this defensive front. Why not sick the dogs on Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Jackson, and Andy Dalton? That’s how the Browns will turn into a playoff contender but even if they don’t get Jones they’re still closer than they were. At some point Zeitler has to be replaced too but John Doresy is doing a great job and he seems to be the man with a plan.
Charity of the day: Habitat for Humanity International
Pass rushing juggernaut: Myles Garret and Olivier Vernon are going to be disruptive.