NFL “PreAgency” rolls into Day 2 on Tuesday with NFL free agency officially opening on Wednesday. According to reports, with nothing actually signed so things could change, the Cleveland Browns had a successful first day but still have work to do.
If nothing changes, Cleveland brought back LB Sione Takitaki and center Ethan Pocic and will add DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and DT Dalvin Tomlinson to their defensive line.
There is still work to be done for the Browns, however. Okoronkwo and Tomlinson were two of our five predictions in our final mock free agency for the team. That mock included adding another defensive tackle, safety and wide receiver.
With Tomlinson in place, Cleveland still may be looking for more of a pass rusher on the interior of the defensive line. Myles Garrett and Alex Wright can rotate inside but another big body in the middle would really help DC Jim Schwartz’s wide-9. The Browns could see Tomlinson as their 3-technique (as he has mostly played) and want to add A’Shawn Robinson, as we did in our mock, but a pass rusher type is more likely.
Here are three that could fit the bill including a player returning after a tour of two other AFC North teams:
- Morgan Fox - Fox is almost exclusively a pass-rushing defensive tackle. He had 6.5 sacks last year while playing just 55% of his team’s defensive snaps. He also had 11 QB hits and eight tackles for loss. Fox shouldn’t break the bank in free agency but would get a decent contract.
- Greg Gaines - We profiled Gaines as a versatile player who could play a little nose tackle and 3-technique for Cleveland next to Tomlinson. Gaines had four sacks, six QB hits and six tackles for loss last season.
- Larry Ogunjobi - Saving the best for last, the return of Ogunjobi to the Browns. According to Pro Football Focus, Ogunjobi had 70 pressures combined in the last two seasons. After stops with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, the former third-round pick comes home. Previous Cleveland regimes tried to use him as a nose tackle but his best use is as a penetrating 3-technique, especially with what he’d have to work with around him.- Update: Ogunjobi is returning to Pittsburgh
- Sheldon Rankins - With Larry off the list, we add Rankins here as another option. He may be waiting to see what happens with Aaron Rodgers in New York before knowing where he is going, Rankins had a very good season last year for the Jets against both the run and pass. He fits as a 3-technique defensive tackle but can play some nose tackle as well.
If you include Robinson, four good options but there are a few more left on the market for GM Andrew Berry to go out shopping for. Adding a safety, receiver and tight end would be helpful as well.
We will have you covered in our Day 2 live blog and tracker.