The Cleveland Browns need to address the situation at defensive tackle this offseason.
Take care of it in the draft. Take care of it in free agency. Call up Michael Dean Perry and see if he is interested in suiting up at the age of 57. (He couldn’t be any worse than some of the players who were on the field last season!)
But it is clear that something needs to be done to upgrade the position.
With free agency set to officially open next week, there will be numerous defensive players linked to the Browns, so here is a look at a Cleveland native that might be appealing at the right price.
Name: Dre’Mont Jones
Position: Defensive lineman
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 281 pounds
2022 Team: Denver Broncos
Stats: 2022: 13 games, 13 starts, 47 tackles, 10 QB hits, 6.5 sacks, 16 pressures, 4 hurries, 9 tackles for loss
Career: 56 games, 29 starts, 133 tackles, 38 QB hits, 22 sacks, 60 pressures, 20 hurries, 28 tackles for loss
PFF Grade: 51.8 overall, 41.8 vs. run, 67.3 vs. pass
2022 Contract: Final year of rookie contract, $2.54 million
Fit with the Browns
Dre’Mont Jones was a full-time starter for the first time in his career in 2022 but saw his season cut short by a hip injury after 13 games. He still managed to post career-highs in defensive snaps played and quarterback pressures, however, and since entering the league in 2019 he has 138 quarterback pressures, which is 19th best among interior defenders, and has a pass-rush win rate of 14.5 percent, 11th best, all according to Pro Football Focus.
Jones struggled to get to the quarterback after the Broncos traded Bradley Chubb, and his run defense would fit right in with the current crop of defensive tackles on Cleveland’s roster, which is probably not a negotiating point that his agent will bring up if the Browns come calling.
Still, Jones showed that when he is paired with a talented defensive end he can be effective, so there might be some appeal in taking a look given that the Browns have the league’s defensive end on the roster in Myles Garrett.
Browns Player Signing Could Impact
Take your pick among the current defensive tackles on the roster and their corresponding PFF grades from last season in comparison to Jones:
- Taven Bryan - 60 overall, 58.6 vs. run, 61.3 vs. pass
- Jordan Elliott - 40.4 overall, 33 vs. run, 59 vs. pass
- Ben Stille - 62 overall, 57.1 vs. run, 66 vs. pass
- Tommy Togiai - 37.3 overall, 37.8 vs. run, 53.7 vs. pass
- Perrion Winfrey - 41.6 overall, 36 vs .run, 56.2 vs. pass
Jones might not be a huge improvement, but at this point, almost anyone is better than what the Browns currently have at the position.
How Signing Could Impact the NFL Draft
No matter what the Browns do in free agency regarding the defensive tackle position they should still select one in the draft to keep building depth and increase their odds of finding some talent at the position.
High: General manager Andrew Berry needs to explore every option available to improve the defensive line and Jones is a name that will continue to be linked to the Browns in free agency. PFF is projecting that Jones will bank a four-year contract that averages $17 million a year and $42.5 million in guaranteed money, which if true is probably more than Jones is worth, however.