The Cleveland Browns finished last season with a 1-15 record, in Hue Jackson first season as the team’s head coach. With a 1-15 record you can expect for changes to happen and they happened. The team let go of defensive coordinator Ray Horton for the second time and hired long time defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was with the Los Angeles Rams over the past three seasons.
The Browns have holes on the defensive side of the ball and a lot of money to spend. I am not sure how big of a player the Browns will be in free agency, considering the year they had last year. But these are some of the guys I would hope the Browns would have interest in.
The Browns have plenty of holes in their secondary. Jefferson was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013. The last game of the 2016 season was the first game of Jefferson’s career in which he did not play. He suffered a grade two sprain of his MCL, but is expected to be fine. Jefferson was able to put numbers across the board, he led the team in tackles with 96. He also had 2 sacks, 5 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles, stats via ESPN. He did a little bit of everything last season for the Cardinals. Jefferson also had an impressive 11 run stuffs. We know the Browns love analytics and Pro Football Focus has him as the 5th best available free agent according to best grades. He graded out with an 88.6. Jefferson would be able to help the Browns in the run game, as well as the passing game. Another positive about Jefferson is he just turned 25-years-old in late January.
Hankins has played for the New York Giants over the past 4 seasons, which was tied for third this past season in rushing yards allowed per game and was second in points allowed per game. Hankins played his college ball right down the road for The Ohio State University. This past season the Giants signed Damon “Snacks” Harrison to a 5 year $46.25 million contract worth $24 million guaranteed, so I am not sure how much money the Giants want to commit to the defensive tackle position. Hankins this season had 43 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 5 defensive run stuffs via ESPN.
Hyde can play both corner and safety. Having that versatility could be important for the Gregg Williams. Hyde played all 16 games for the Packers last season. He recorded 58 tackles, 1 sack and 3 interceptions. The Browns need to add good players to their weak secondary. Especially at safety with no clear starters at the position.