Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry was off to work quickly during the NFL's free agency period, bringing in multiple players to improve the roster ahead of the new campaign. But the team won't rest on their laurels given that they play in the competitive AFC North division that also features the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are expected to be playoff teams in the 2021 season.
The Browns are still monitoring a few free agents like Jadeveon Clowney, but their primary focus will now be the 2021 NFL Draft, which will be held in Cleveland. The Browns currently have nine draft picks and will be looking to utilize them to fill the holes in their roster. But what positions will the Browns look to strengthen with their draft capital? Let's assess.
2021 NFL Draft: Areas the Cleveland Browns will target
#1 - Cornerback
The Cleveland Browns need more depth at cornerback. The team added veteran Troy Hill to help fill the slot corner position and will have Greedy Williams returning from injury. The team will be looking to add another top cornerback to the roster via the NFL draft.
Drafting a corner who can step in immediately will give the Cleveland Browns insurance at the cornerback position. Top prospects Caleb Farley, Patrick Surtain and Tyson Campbell might be off the board by the time the Browns make their first pick at number 26 in the first round. But Florida State's Asante Samuel Jr. and South Carolina's Jaycee Horn might still be available, and the Browns could use their top pick in the NFL draft on one of those.
#2 - Defensive End
The Cleveland Browns have an All-Pro pass rusher on one end of their defensive line in Myles Garrett and would love to add another on the other side. The Cleveland Browns did sign Takkarist McKinley in free agency, and while he is young and talented, the 25-year-old is not the solution at the position.
Despite missing out on J.J. Watt and Trey Hendrickson, the Browns still have other pass-rushing options that they can explore in free agency. But the Browns will be better served to draft a defensive end rather than signing a player in free agency. The 2021 NFL draft has some stellar pash rushers that the Browns could look at. Penn State's Jayson Oweh and Oklahoma's Ronnie Perkins would be ideal fits for the Browns' defensive scheme.