The Cleveland Browns have been destroyed in the run game most of the season. The team seemed to prioritize speed and pass game needs over size and run game needs at defensive tackle and linebacker the last few offseasons.
With limited answers up the middle, teams that had struggled to run the ball all season (Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins) and teams with backup running backs carrying most of the load (Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens) ran all over the place on the way to victories.
GM Andrew Berry has not seemed to value run-stuffing defenders up the middle with DT Andrew Billings the last, failed, attempt at finding one. Instead, Berry has loaded up with mid-round picks (Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai, Perrion Winfrey), veterans accepting one-year contracts (Anthony Walker twice, Taven Bryan) and spent a second-round pick on speedy, undersized Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah when he fell to him.
Today, the Las Vegas Raiders were awarded former first-round pick, DT Jerry Tillery, off of waivers from the Chargers. Eight teams placed a claim on Tillery including struggling teams and teams near the top of the standings. Yet, somehow, Cleveland wasn’t one of those teams:
Eight teams - Las Vegas, Detroit, Carolina, Indianapolis, San Francisco, New York Jets, New York Giants, and Kansas City - put in waiver claims for former Chargers’ first-round pick Jerry Tillery, who was assigned to the Raiders.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 14, 2022
Is it possible that Berry got the heads-up from someone that a team with a higher waiver claim priority like Las Vegas and Carolina was going to put in a claim? Sure, it is possible but it looks like negligence for a team with one of, if not the, worst defensive tackle rooms in the league to not place a claim on an interior defensive lineman.
It seems obvious that Berry and the Browns don’t value the defensive tackle position despite game after game proof that theirs is sorely lacking. Tillery may not be the solution to the problem but, it seems, taking a chance on a former first-round pick (that many teams were interested in) would have been worth the waiver claim.