It has been a few regime cycles already since the Cleveland Browns elected to try to build their rosters through the NFL Draft rather than through free agency. One of the problems with that approach for them is that they turned over regimes so frequently that it didn’t allow for any stability, with the latest regime getting rid of the players from the one prior.
Current Brown General Manager John Dorsey has traded away more than a dozen players who were brought in prior to his arrival a year and a half ago. He just completed his second draft, and it was less populated, with less valuable picks, than they are used to.
But that is largely because of the moves that they have made outside of the draft, with the big one coming in trade, sending first- and third-round picks, plus 2017 first-round safety Jabrill Peppers, to the New York Giants for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Dorsey and the front office seem to believe they are at a point in their development, with a quarterback they believe can be the future, where they can supplement with veterans. In addition to Beckham, they have also added Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson, and Morgan Burnett, all of whom figure to start.
From the sounds of it, there may be one more move coming, which will complete a near-total recalibration of their defensive line.
Earlier this offseason, the Browns traded Kevin Zeitler to the Giants to bring in Vernon to pair with their star young edge rusher, Myles Garrett, who was the first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. After bringing in Richardson to man the inside, they are now reportedly targeting Gerald McCoy as well.
According to Steve Doerschuk, Dorsey and the Browns are interested in McCoy from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers were reportedly interested in moving him before the draft. They also need a running back, and Cleveland has a running back to move in Duke Johnson.
McCoy is on the wrong side of 30, having turned 31 earlier this offseason, but is still productive. His addition would give the team strong depth along the interior, joining Larry Ogungobi as well, who has come on strong since being drafted by the team.
A 2010 first-round pick, McCoy has gone to six Pro Bowls, most recently in 2017, and has been on the first-team All-Pro list a few times as well. He recorded six sacks in 14 games last season and has 54.5 in his career. That ranks fifth among interior defensive linemen since 2010.