The Cleveland Browns have addressed many of the concerns fans had going into the offseason. It is unlikely they will address all of them in free agency but GM Andrew Berry has been aggressive, especially on the defensive line.
In addition to signing FS Juan Thornhill and bringing back LB Sione Takitaki, CB AJ Green and center Ethan Pocic, Berry has now, reportedly, added four players to the defensive line. DT Dalvin Tomlinson and DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo were the biggest additions but DT Maurice Hurst is a good buy-low prospect with upside.
If one was good, two is better for the Browns as Berry reportedly is also bringing in another buy-low prospect with a very specific skillset:
Former #Cowboys DE Trysten Hill is expected to sign with the #Browns, source said, another addition to their defensive line. A former second-round pick, he also spent time with the #AZCardinals last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2023
Hill may have played defensive end at times for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals but he is primarily a defensive tackle.
As we noted last season when he was waived by Dallas, before being claimed by Arizona, Hill’s role is to stop the run:
Hill could provide Cleveland with an extra stout defender at the point of attack for 20 plays or so a game. While he may not rack up big numbers, taking on two defenders can help create openings for the rest of the defensive line and linebackers.
In just 228 snaps, split between the two teams, Hill had 12 tackles, five tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and one sack.
The three interior defensive linemen give new DC Jim Schwartz an interesting group. Tomlinson can play both nose tackle (0/1-technique) and defensive tackle (mostly 3-technique) while Hurst is mostly a 3-tech and Hill is mostly a 0/1-tech player.
Adding four defensive linemen doesn’t mean the team is done, in free agency or the NFL draft, adding to the position. Likely, Berry is hopeful that either Hurst or Hill are productive players in 2023 with a bonus if both are.
Once we get contract details, which are expected to be low, we will have a better idea of what Cleveland expects from the former second-round pick. For now, another depth signing of a player that can specifically stop the run.