A couple of weeks ago, Pat Kirwan of NFL.com wrote an article that highlighted the top 30 pass rushers in the game today. He sectioned the pass rushers off into five tiers and also had five players in an "honorable mentions" category. None of those 30 players were members of the Cleveland Browns last season.
The Browns have lacked a serious pass rush for too long, and one can only hope that the return to the 4-3 defense changes that. Even when our top pass rushers in the past have racked up sacks (i.e. Kamerion Wimbley and Marcus Benard), they never really seemed to be "dominant." The only one who might have fallen in that category was Shaun Rogers, but defensive tackles aren't going to generate pretty-looking statistics.
Earlier this offseason, we talked about how Benard did have quite a few sacks (7.5 to be exact) in limited playing time; he only started two games and had 28 tackles on the season. All of the top pass rushers were typically starters and were on the field enough to record around 50+ tackles.
Do you see the Browns having anybody on their roster this year who could make a future run at being classified as one of the league's top 30 pass rushers? The most likely candidates to do so would be the up-and-coming Benard, rookie Jabaal Sheard, and the likely-returning Jayme Mitchell, a player who has been in the league for awhile but has yet to receive a full-time gig. The Browns could also try to add free agents like Charles Johnson (Tier D) or Ray Edwards (Tier E), in which case they would not have to grow their own players.