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3 Potential Veteran Additions for the Cleveland Browns

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As the days inch closer to the start of the 2024 NFL season, The Cleveland Browns are always looking for ways to improve. In years prior they have shown that they are not afraid to add talent to this already insanely talented roster. Adding guys like Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore (via trade), Kareem Hunt (via FA), Za’Darius Smith (via trade), and many more. While this roster is almost complete, the Browns have been linked to adding another key contributor before the start of the 2024 season…

Photo via: Newsweek

Hunter Renfrow

The former Clemson Tiger and Las Vegas Raider is currently a free agent after being released in mid-March. A Pro-Bowl WR in the 2021 season, Renfrow caught 111 receptions for 1,096 yards and 9 TDs. The Myrtle Beach native found himself at Clemson university as a walk-on where he would eventually get a scholarship later that summer. He currently has the record for most career starts at Clemson with 47. While Renfrow has not been the same since the 2021 season, I do believe that his impact could be felt in Cleveland. Renfrow has elite footwork to pair with his state of the art route running. Renfrow’s size has led to an inability to stay engaged with blocks. With the additions of Jerry Jeudy and Jamari Thrash, Cleveland has shown they are ready to improve this WR core. A former Pro-Bowl WR and teammate of your franchise QB? Sign me up.

The Browns current WR room looks like this:

Amari Cooper Cedric Tillman James Proche II Ahmareon Brown
Jerry Jeudy David Bell Michael Woods II Jalen Camp
Elijah Moore Jamari Thrash Jaleon Darden Matt Landers


Shaquille Leonard

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Shaquille Leonard is a three time first team All-Pro, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In 2022, Leonard had undergone back surgery. While many knew that Leonard had been dealing with an ankle injury dating back to week 8 of the 2022 season, there was no news about any issues with Leonard’s back. Turns out, the back procedure was actually connected to the lingering ankle issue. Leonard was having trouble with the functioning of his ankle and several test and scans revealed that it was a result of a nerve issue in his back. During the 2023 season, the Indianapolis Colts would eventually release Shaquille Leonard. The Browns were rumored to be interested in the former All-Pro LB once he cleared waivers but the Philadelphia Eagles signed him with in hours of him becoming a FA. Leonard never found his footing in Philadelphia, only racking up 15 tackles, a sack, and an INT over a 5 game span. Shaquille Leonard has racked up 470 tackles, 16 sacks, 17 FF, 12 INTs, and 34 TFLs over his 6 year career. Leonard primarily plays MLB/WLB. While 2023 was Leonard’s worst season statistically of his career, I believe this could be the low risk-high reward that could push this already historic Browns defense over the top.

The Browns current LB room looks like this:

WLB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Nathaniel Watson Charlie Thomas III
MLB Jordan Hicks Mahamoud Diabate Caleb Johnson
SLB Devin Bush Tony Fields II Winston Reid


Brycen Hopkins

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Brycen Hopkins is the son of former Pro-Bowl NFL lineman Brad Hopkins. A very skilled college TE for Purdue, racking up 130 catches for 1,945 yards through five years at Purdue. Just last off-season, 1x SB Champ HC Sean McVay had high praise for Hopkins, stating in a press conference after a camp day in early August “I feel great about Brycen Hopkins, I think he’s had an excellent camp. If you asked “what’s one bright spot in camp?” I’d say Hopkins is one of them.”   In 2020 Hopkins, a former 4th round draft pick, was graded with a 90 production score (2nd highest, only behind former Brown Harrison Bryant), 74 for his athleticism score (7th highest), and a 78 total score (2nd highest) at the combine.

For those who do not know, NFL uses next gen stats to grade combine scores.

They are scored as such: 

Below Average = 60

Average = 70

Above Average = 80/90/100


Hopkins has very little production in the NFL, only snaring 13 passes on 19 targets for 196 yards and 0 TDs in his career. Hopkins is considered a flex TE/slot TE and particularly struggles to create separation against man coverage. He is considered a semi-skilled route runner with decent quickness and lean at the start of his routes but struggles to bring the passes in. While the Browns are not asking for Hopkins to come in and play TE1 with the likes of superstar TE David Njoku already manning that spot.  Hopkins does provide a nice boost of athleticism, his drop issues have caused the Rams to move on from the former 4th round draft choice. The Browns currently have 5 TEs on their roster (4, if you consider Giovanni Ricci as a FB.) The Browns have gone with only 2 TEs before, in 2022, the Browns went into week 1 with David Njoku and Harrison Bryant. Brycen Hopkins provides the athleticism we need in our TE room. While the drops are an issue, that can obviously be fixed. David Njoku struggled with pass catching out of college and developed into a top 5 TE, While Njoku was a much higher rated prospect out of college. Things can always change.




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