When you think of the Browns defense, the first player that comes to mind is probably Myles Garrett, and for good reason. But how does the rest of the team stack up in terms of IDP relevance?
To put it simply, Myles Garrett is a MAN BEAST! His ability to get to the QB is absolutely ridiculous and, if he hadn’t lost his temper on Mason Rudolph, he could have finished 2019 as the #1 DL in the league. At the very least, he was on pace for the best season of his career. I feel he has that same opportunity this season.
I have little doubt that 2020 is the year where Myles Garrett shows the world what he is capable of. At a minimum, I’m expecting a 16+ sack season from the former No. 1 overall pick. Add in around 50 tackles (which he was on pace for in 2019) and you’re looking at a DPOY type season that will leave IDP managers ecstatic. In addition to his unreal talent, he has all the incentive in the world to perform at a high level during a contract year*.
Obviously, Myles Garret is a DL1 and is actually ranked 2nd overall in my positional rankings. If you’re on the clock and looking to fill your DL position early, Myles Garrett is arguably the best choice you can make.
The rest of the Browns Defensive Linemen are far less promising. Olivier Vernon hasn’t been able to stay healthy for the past three seasons after not missing a game in his first five. If he can stay on the field he is a viable bye week option/injury, but that is a big if. Even then, he did not resemble the Vernon that we saw in New York and Miami. Don’t touch Vernon unless you absolutely have to.
Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi I like both for DT must start leagues, and they can also fill a need simply because they accumulate tackles. More so Richardson though 62 tackles for his position is nothing to look over. Side Note: 4 PD /3 Sacks /6 QB hits. He is very capable of helping your team. Ogunjobi is really underrated because of the talent on this front line. Make no mistake he can pull you out the fire in a tough bye week/injury.
This is by far the most interesting position on the Browns defense, as the team features a very young group of linebackers. The one LB to grab is Mack Wilson and he will be the starting Weakside Linebacker (or WILL if you will… haha I crack myself up). *
*Editor’s Note: He does, in fact, crack himself up.
Mack Wilson 2019 Stats
Total Tackles: 82 (57 solo)
QB Hits: 2 (5 Pressures)
Pass Deflections: 7
Forced Fumble: 1
Fumble Recovery: 0
Wilson played all 16 games, but he didn’t start getting real snaps until Week Three and I could be the Sophomore LB not named “ Devin” to breakout this season.
This all depends on Sione Takitaki at the Middle Linebacker position. Last season, Takitaki was able to learn from the now Jaguar Joe Schobert and the Browns must have liked what they saw since they let Schobert walk in free agency. Wilson only played 105 snaps last season, and the game in which he had more than 20 snaps (36) he had a 6 tackle performance. Based on this extremely small sample size, Takitaki has potential and I can see why they like him. Takitaki’s performance will dictate much of what happens to the Browns defense. If Takitaki develops into a staple in the front 7 he will elevate everyone else around him. This is an extremely young group and it’s worth keeping an eye on Wilson and Takitaki in particular. The opportunity is there, but they’ll have to prove themselves.
The Browns secondary is led by lockdown CB Denzel Ward. Ward, a stud that has had 11 Pass Deflections the past two years and averaged 40 Solo Tackles and 2.5 INT , is the biggest asset in the Browns secondary. Unfortunately, injuries have been a problem for Ward in his career as he has played in 25/32 games the past to seasons. In a CB Start league, Ward is a worthwhile option who could outperform his ADP should he stay healthy.
Opposite from Ward we have CB Greedy Williams. Williams has nowhere to go but up after a disappointing season in which he only had two passes deflected and 0 Interceptions. Even in a CB Must Star league, I would only touch Williams in the right matchup. My advice: both Ward and Williams have missed games in the past couple of years and I value availability greatly. I would be wary of investing in either of these players.
Strong Safety Karl Joseph,’ who was brought in from Oakland via free agency also has injury issues (are you seeing a trend), never finishing a season in his career. This is partly why he has never made more than 80 tackles in a season. Of course, tackles are a big reason why SS is my preferred position to fill a DB spot, so I’m not too big on the former Raider. Karl Joseph e belongs on deep benches for potential spot starts in 3 deep DB leagues, but I need to see what he does first before I recommend investing in him. Even when he is on the field, he has been extremely inconsistent. Do not draft Joseph, but keep an eye on him as the season starts in case he shows improved tackling.
Free Safety Grant Delpit, the rookie out of LSU who will slide into the starting Free Safety role, is a player I’m quietly excited about. Delpit has slipped in Dynasty Rookie Drafts which gives you the opportunity to acquire him at a discount. Similar to Karl Joseph, Delpit’s inefficient tackling is a concern, but I’m optimistic the league can help him fix that. Keep an eye on the rookie and don’t be afraid to pull the trigger in the later rounds of your drafts.
The Browns let Joe Schobert walk into free agency, and now that job rests on the shoulders of Sione Takitaki. This is a move that will directly affect the entire defense and can’t be overlooked. Garrett will, of course, be just fine and needs to be on your radar when you begin making your IDP picks, but the rest of the defense will rely heavily on Sione’s effectiveness to lead. This is a young group with a lot to prove that is in a division that will test them thoroughly for 8 weeks in the fall (hopefully).
If this defense can stay healthy (especially the Secondary), this will be a tough team to face. For now, however, Myles Garrett and Mack Wilson stand as the two valuable IDP players coming from the Browns defense.