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Browns Continue Building Super Bowl Caliber Defense, Take Chance On Malik McDowell

The Cleveland Browns came close to making a Super Bowl this season. After going 11-5 in the regular season, they made a run in the playoffs but ultimately fell short against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round.

Still, this franchise is finally heading in the right direction.

In order to continue heading in that right direction, the Browns have been working diligently to fill some of the holes on the roster, especially on defense. Needless to say, so far, so good. The latest addition is former second-round pick Malik McDowell.

The signing is somewhat controversial, considering McDowell’s history.

Though he was drafted by the Seahawks with the No. 35 pick in 2017, the Michigan State product never played a down in a live game. Like Tom Pelissero says in his tweet, McDowell was injured in an ATV accident.

But he’s also had legal troubles stemming from a confrontation with police that led to a charge of disorderly conduct.

We’ll have to wait and see what comes of that signing — if anything — but McDowell is a flier. Cleveland’s other signings on the defensive side of the football are much more noteworthy, and they could be what gets them over the top in 2021.

Check them out. First, free agency:

  • Malik McDowell, Defensive Tackle
  • John Johnson III, Safety
  • Jadeveon Clowney, Edge Player
  • Anthony Walker, Linebacker
  • Malik Jackson, Defensive Tackle
  • Takkarist McKinley, Edge Player
  • Troy Hill, Cornerback
  • Malcolm Smith, Linebacker (re-signing)

Then there are the players who were selected in the NFL draft this past weekend.

  • Greg Newsome II, Cornerback (first round)
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker (second round)
  • Tommy Togiai, Defensive Tackle (fourth round)
  • Tony Fields II, Linebacker (fifth round)
  • Richard LeCounte III, Safety (fifth round)

Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, who was once considered a first-round talent, was also signed as an undrafted free agent. He was given a hefty signing bonus, and a good portion of his 2021 salary is guaranteed.

This is a ridiculous haul of talent.

Through the draft and free agency, the Browns have fortified all three levels on defense. Every hole has been filled with multiple options, giving Cleveland a chance to field one of the top defenses in the NFL this upcoming season.

Most people discard the Browns because of their past, but this is a Super Bowl contender, folks. Period.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

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