During the lead-up to the 2015 NFL Draft, we’ve had you covered breaking down the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster by position and looking to how that corresponds to what they might do during the draft later this week.
But the Steelers aren’t the only team in the league, nor are they the only team in their division. And they lost three games to division opponents last season, including in the first round of the playoffs, which prematurely ended their most promising season since 2011, at least.
With that in mind, it will be valuable to break down each division opponent’s roster and take a look at where they are in need in terms of rebuilding through the draft. We finish up this brief series with a look at the Cleveland Browns, who at one point last season were contenders with a chance to win double-digit games before the bottom fell out at the end of the year.
Like the Ravens, the Browns also have 10 draft picks. Cleveland picked up an extra first- and fourth-round pick from the Bills in a trade last year, so they yet again will have two first-round draft picks in addition to all of their natural picks. They also have an extra sixth-round pick originally owned by the Ravens.
When it comes to need, it obviously all starts at quarterback. Brian Hoyer, the only Browns quarterback since they returned to the league to post a winning record is gone, and while they drafted a quarterback in the first round last year in Johnny Manziel, they may be doing so again this year.
That ignores the addition of Josh McCown, but then again a lot of people ignore Josh McCown. The Browns have been in the discussion of possibly maneuvering to draft Marcus Mariota, or to at least be involved in a multiple-team trade that lands them some type of quarterback as recompense.
Sticking with the offensive theme, the Browns added Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline while losing Miles Austin, with Josh Gordon facing another suspension. Wide receiver is very much in play in the first round and beyond. And even though they added Rob Housler, they may still want to add another tight end.
The Browns added a couple of running backs in the draft last year, and I imagine that they will develop them rather than add more to the position. While the offensive line is very good in terms of its starting five, however, they have been connected to interest in some of the top tackles.
On the defensive side of the ball, they have shuffled their secondary a lot, but have essentially come up even, I think. Certainly enough to prevent them from having a need there.
The defensive line was certainly a disappointment, but getting Phil Taylor back will help with that. They also added Randy Starks to the interior, but could still use depth. They could also use help on the ends with players who are better against the run.
Karlos Dansby is a solid veteran, and Craig Robertson entered the starting lineup late in the year, but the Browns have still expressed interest in adding a premium talent at inside linebacker. On the outside, they need to replenish their depth after losing Jabaal Sheard.