Gregg Rosenthal: Key homegrown Browns player

Pete Smith

Olivier Vernon and Myles Garrett are the headliners of the edge group for the Cleveland Browns and they warrant taking up a lot of time and attention. Genard Avery has taken reps at linebacker, but his bread and butter is off the edge. He was the third guy in last as rookie and was a really nice addition who provided some instant impact, complimenting Myles Garrett really well.

Cleveland Browns: Genard Avery, defensive end/linebacker. Avery was the hidden gem of a preposterously good Browns draft class, which was headlined by Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. Avery's 42 pressures and sure tackling were both outrageous for a fifth-round pick in a part-time role. Now he's expected to replace Jamie Collins, released in March, as the team's strong-side linebacker on early downs while also getting work as a defensive end. His versatility is exactly what creative coordinators should be looking for. Though he was once viewed as a 'tweener, the profile of this 250-pound outside 'backer with the ability to play on the line or off the ball may soon look more like the prototype. - Gregg Rosenthal

While he may not be getting the attention, he benefits as much as anyone from the additions of Vernon as well as Sheldon Richardson. So not only should Avery improve in his own right getting more comfortable and improving his skill set, but the unit around him is getting stronger. He could flirt with double digit sacks this year.

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