While the focus for much of the offseason for the Cleveland Browns will be on the defensive tackle position and, now with John Johnson III’s release, safety, the defensive end position might need to be addressed. Outside of DE Myles Garrett, there are questions about what the Browns have at the position.
Chase Winovich and Jadeveon Clowney are set for free agency. As rookies, Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas showed some flashes but are they able to step in as the team’s second and third edge player? That is a lot to expect of either player.
Chris Odom was exciting in his limited reps before getting hurt during training camp.
One player that fits the mold that Cleveland GM Andrew Berry has looked for opposite Garrett is Ohio State Buckeyes Zach Harrison. Harrison is long and strong using power to make most of his impact. With Jim Schwartz replacing Joe Woods as defensive coordinator, it will interesting if that mold changes.
At the NFL combine, Harrison noted watching fellow Buckeyes Joey Bosa and Nick Bosa as well as the Browns stud defensive end:
Zach Harrison notes the Bosa’s (Buckeyes!) Chandler Jones and Myles Garrett as players he likes to watch pic.twitter.com/Z0kbQUDYbu— Jared Mueller (@JaredKMueller) March 1, 2023
Harrison’s boxscore numbers are far from impressive (24 tackles for loss, 11 sacks in four seasons) but his physical traits and how he was used at Ohio State has many expecting him to put up more stats at the NFL level.
On average, Harrison is mocked to be drafted within the first 80 selections of the 2023 NFL draft. If he puts on a great show on the NFL combine, that number could rise as teams may value traits over production.
While Berry denied that the team has an age guardrail for top prospects, Harrison, a 21-year-old, would fit those we have seen from Cleveland the last three seasons.
We will track Harrison and all of the top defensive line prospects as they take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium later this week.