Cleveland was going to take an offensive tackle at No. 10 overall in all likelihood. The only question was, which offensive tackle? They admitted that there were not many scenarios they envisioned where Alabama's Jedrick Wills would be on the board when it was their turn to select. The AFC North franchise was elated that he was available. The Browns also needed some help at safety. In the second round, they were able to trade back a bit and still acquire a player with a first-round grade -- LSU's Grant Delpit.
From there, general manager Andrew Berry turned his attention to building depth at positions of need. Missouri defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant, Washington interior offensive lineman Nick Harris and Michigan wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones were all welcomed additions and should make the roster. The only pick that felt a bit like a reach was LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips late in the third round. Their biggest priority was fixing the offensive line and they passed that test with flying colors.
After examining what Cleveland did well, it's time to take a look at what it was not able to accomplish and lay out a road map for the rest of the offseason.
1. Bolster the pass rush for the present and future
Defensive end Olivier Vernon is a solid representative opposite Myles Garrett. However, he is entering the final year of his hefty contract and has been unable to stay healthy. He has missed at least four games in each of the past three seasons. Behind Garrett and Vernon, there is little to no depth. One injury, or suspension in the case witnessed last year, could derail the team's entire strategy on the edge.
If they attempt to sign Everson Griffen or Jadeveon Clowney in free agency, it would likely come at the expense of Vernon. It is hard to justify a $15.5 million salary cap hit on an oft-injured rotational player. If they choose to keep Vernon, then they could look to add an inexpensive veteran to compete.
2. Solidify the linebacker unit
Cleveland has essentially been tossing bodies into the linebacker heap over the past two years with the hope that two starters emerge. Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey are gone, which leaves Mack Wilson, Sione Takitaki, B.J. Goodson and now Phillips to compete. There are as many unanswered questions now as there were before the draft. Phillips was CBS Sports' No. 156 prospect overall and the Browns took him at No. 97 overall ahead of Ohio State's Malik Harrison and Appalachian State's Akeem Davis-Gaither. Time will tell if they made the right decision.
There are not many viable options that the team could sign in free agency. Nigel Bradham, who was released by the Eagles this offseason, would be a great addition based on ability alone. However, there are supposedly some injury concerns that must be considered and he has been unwilling to come down from his asking price.
3. Fill out the secondary
Delpit joined the fold and Cleveland did pay Oklahoma State undrafted free agent cornerback A.J. Green what essentially amounts to sixth-round pick money, but sixth-round picks are not guaranteed to make the roster. Starting cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams missed a combined eight games last season. They released veteran safety Morgan Burnett and allowed Damarious Randall to leave in free agency. They need to find some consistency in that unit.
During free agency, they signed Kevin Johnson from the Bills to be their slot cornerback. They also signed veteran safeties Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph. Those two should compete with Sheldrick Redwine and Delpit. If everything comes together as planned, they should be fine in the secondary. Relying on health often works out, however. Even if the plan goes accordingly in 2020, the team will need to bring in some long term solutions the following offseason.
Fortunately for Cleveland, if it does decide to make any other moves, it has the most salary cap space -- nearly $40 million -- to accomplish it. The Browns have 11 draft choices already in 2021, as well.