3 Browns Trade Targets After Week 2
It's only Week 3 of the NFL season, but it sure feels like there's already a lot riding on the Thursday night matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Cleveland Browns.
After blowing a 30-17 lead with just over a minute to play against the New York Jets, the team is going to have to turn around and play a bitter rival four days later. The team is sitting at 1-1 with a loss to the Jets and nine more games before Deshaun Watson returns from suspension.
Tom Withers of the Associated Press reported the team held a players-only meeting in the wake of the loss.
Regardless of the outcome of the Steelers-Browns matchup, this is a team that may be looking to add some reinforcements sooner rather than later.
Given who could be available and the needs the team has right now, here are three potential targets the front office should at least put in a call about.
WR Denzel Mims, New York Jets
On paper, the wide receiver room looked like one of the biggest weaknesses for the Browns heading into the season. So far, that has turned out to be true.
Amari Cooper looked like a legitimate WR1 in Week 2, hauling in nine of his 10 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown. After that, though, Jacoby Brissett isn't getting much help from his receivers. Donovan Peoples-Jones has six catches for 60 yards.
No other wide receiver has more than one catch through the first two games.
Anthony Schwartz and David Bell have yet to show they are going to step in as the No. 3 receiver.
It might be time to look outside the organization, and Denzel Mims is an interesting prospect. He reportedly had a great training camp, but he's stuck behind a fairly deep receiver room in New York that includes Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis and Elijah Moore.
The 6'3" receiver asked for a trade this offseason, but the Jets haven't acquiesced yet. It would behoove the Browns to give them a call.
Edge Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears
This is the biggest swing of the bunch.
If the Browns are to remain competitive while relying on the run game and Jacoby Brissett as a game manager, the defense has to be elite. Myles Garrett is a Defensive Player of the Year-level pass-rusher and Jadeveon Clowney is a good running mate for him.
However, Clowney is out for Thursday night's matchup with an ankle injury already and Garrett is on the injury report with a neck ailment. Depth is always key when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
The Browns brought in Chase Winovich to be the third pass-rusher but adding a veteran who could start for either Garrett or Clowney would be even better.
Enter Robert Quinn. The Chicago Bears edge-rusher is on a team that is clearly rebuilding under new general manager Ryan Poles. After trading away Khalil Mack, he's shown he's willing to part with veterans.
Quinn had 18.5 sacks last season and already has one with Chicago this season.
If the Bears continue to lose, the Browns should be one of the teams that checks in on the 32-year-old's availability.
DT Daron Payne, Washington Commanders
Adding to the edge rotation isn't the only way the Browns could bolster the defense. The defensive interior has been a group that could use a boost for a while now and that hasn't changed.
Jordan Elliott is ranked 104th among 122 qualifying interior defenders graded by PFF. With the attention Garrett and Clowney command, the Browns should be able to generate pressure on the inside.
Tommy Togiai (one) and Elliott (two) are the only ones who have even registered one pressure. Togiai has half a sack to his name.
The Browns might want to refer back to some reporting that took place in the summer to address the situation. Ben Standig of The Athletic noted the Washington Commanders were open to trading defensive tackle Daron Payne as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.
Adding his pocket-pushing presence on the interior would take this Browns defense to the next level. It's going to need to be there if they are to keep 2022 from being a lost season.