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Off-Season Position Analysis

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Browns 2020 position preview: Analyzing the safeties

The virtual work is complete and training camp will be here sooner than we know it.

From now until then, we're going to devote some time to the different position groups that dot the Browns' roster. There's been plenty of change since the Browns last took the field, and we're examining all of it with an eye toward the 2020 season.

We're continuing with a position group that received a big makeover in the offense thanks to an infusion of veterans and a key rookie.

The Safeties

What we know: The Browns entered the new league year with just two safeties — Redwine and Hassell — under contract. They quickly went to work shoring up the unit with two veterans — Joseph and Sendejo — before turning their attention to the draft. A number of the 2020 class' top safeties were available when the Browns were on the clock in the middle of the second round, and they opted for Delpit, the Jim Thorpe Award winner who shined as one of the best defensive players in the nation as a sophomore before going through an up-and-down, injury-plagued junior campaign. The Browns loved Delpit's upside and particularly his versatility, which should allow him to provide an immediate impact somewhere within Cleveland's secondary. Joseph was playing the best football of his career before a foot injury put an immediate halt to his final season with the Raiders. Sendejo spent a number of years with the Vikings and played under Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard. He's one of the most experienced players on the entire Browns roster and, by far, the eldest statesman in one of the team's youngest position groups.

What we don't know: Until we actually see them on the field, it's unclear just how the Browns will deploy these players on a regular basis. Joseph, Sendejo and Delpit all provide Woods with some flexibility on where he can locate them on a given play. Redwine is, perhaps, the only true "center fielder" type from this group, and there's no one here you'd peg exclusively as a strong safety. Delpit's role will draw the most intrigue throughout training camp. A second-round pick with first-round talent and fanfare, Delpit has the skills and flexibility to fit in a variety of spots. The biggest question will be how quickly he can latch onto a role and how quickly he can grasp the nuances of Woods' defense after not receiving the usual on-field work a rookie gets in the spring with his new team.

X-Factor: Redwine - The fourth-round pick out of Miami didn't see the field much during the first half of his rookie season, but that changed in a big way down the home stretch. Amid a flurry of injuries and other issues at the safety position, Redwine was pressed into every-snap duty and received a crash course on NFL football. He largely held his own and drew praise from his coaches for the work he did in 12 games, which included five starts. Though the Browns made big headlines with the free agent additions of Joseph and Sendejo and the second-round selection of Delpit, Redwine shouldn't be overlooked when evaluating the position group as a whole. At the minimum, Redwine figures to have a major role on special teams, where he shined as a rookie.

The biggest number: 110 - That's the number of games Sendejo has played since his NFL career began in 2010 with the Cowboys. The rest of Cleveland's safeties room has a combined 65 games of experience.

Says it all: "Grant is a very talented player. When you look at his tape, he has the ability to play down in the box and he has the ability to play in the post. We can play him in the dime. He can match up in the slot and man coverage. He is the ideal type of athlete that I look forward to getting in the secondary. The size and the speed, to me, he possesses it all. Obviously, everybody has talked about it and he has heard about it from everybody about the tackling issues. The one thing is I know he can tackle. We just need him to be more consistent. That is something we will work on. He is eager and he is ready to go." — Woods on Delpit

How many were kept on the initial 53-man roster last year?: 5

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