Browns fans have a right to be skeptical, but their offense could be elite if Cleveland is able to swing a trade for Redskins tackle Trent Williams.
The Browns currently have one gaping hole in their offense headed into the draft. The franchise desperately needs to find a quality starter at left tackle. Executing a trade with the Redskins to bring Trent Williams to northeast Ohio could be the perfect solution for Cleveland.
No trade is “imminent” at the moment, but it’s clearly something the Browns front office is still considering. Assuming the Redskins are willing to be reasonable in their trade demands, it’s a move Cleveland should make.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Browns offense could become one of the top units in the NFL with Williams protecting Baker Mayfield’s blind side. Offensive tackle was a huge issue for the team in 2019. Many of Mayfield’s struggles can be directly attributed to the amount of pressure he faced from the edge.
The team already solved their issues at right tackle by inking Jack Conklin to a big deal in free agency. Acquiring Williams for a draft pick would give the Browns a pair of top quality players to deploy at tackle. Giving Mayfield quality protection will allow him to take advantage of the team’s embarrassment of riches at their skill positions.
Odell Beckham Jr may be a problem in the locker room, but he’s got All-Pro potential when he steps onto the field. His ability to threaten opposing defenses down the field also gives Jarvis Landry the room required to carve up secondaries on short and intermediate routes. The duo combine to become one of the top receiving duos in the NFL.
The Browns also landed Austin Hooper in free agency to upgrade their options at tight end. Making him the highest paid player in the NFL at his position might not be great value, but he’s going to be very productive in the Browns offense during the life of his contract. He’ll be able to give Mayfield a safety blanket when the offense needs to keep the chains moving while also making big plays down the seam. He’s of the best receiving tight ends in the league.
Cleveland also has a dynamic duo of running backs to unleash on opposing defenses. Nick Chubb racked up 1,494 yards on 298 carries a season ago. That comes out to an impressive average of five yards per carry. Throw in Kareem Hunt’s ability to bust the occasional big play and the Browns’ backfield gives opposing defensive coordinators a lot to worry about.
Filling the left tackle need via trade would also open up a lot of options for Browns with their No. 10 overall selection. It’s unlikely they’d stay put and grab a top flight receiver like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb at that spot, but it’s certainly not impossible.
It’s more likely that Cleveland would trade down and look to add more draft picks to replace whatever they’re forced to give up for Williams. That might lead the Browns to find a quality weapon in the slot in Round 2. Adding a big play receiver like K.J. Hamler might be enough to make this offense the best unit in the NFL.
Browns fans have every right to be skeptical of what their favorite team is doing this offseason, but they’re one move away from building a frightening offense. It’s time for Cleveland to pull the trigger and acquire Trent Williams to solve their issues at left tackle.