Over the past few months, the Browns have made it abundantly clear they intend to build their roster through the draft.
"I think to build a sustainable team, it's going to start in the draft room," first-year coach Hue Jackson said at the NFL scouting combine in February. "We're going to have to draft some really good football players in order to put on our team now and to get us where we need to be."
Cleveland has also said it'll use its 10 draft picks — which include the second and 32nd overall selections — on the best available player regardless of position. And while early candidates have emerged, Jackson, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and the rest of the Browns front office are carefully evaluating potential club members and how they might fit within the organization.
Against that backdrop, Cleveland could be in the market for a defensive back following the release of veteran Donte Whitner and second-year player Ifo Ekpre-Olomu on Saturday.
The Browns currently feature nine DBs on the roster — including starters in Pro Bowler Joe Haden and veteran safety Tramon Williams. But Cleveland — which also saw safety Tashaun Gipson part ways with the team in free agency — could use some depth at a position that struggled last season.
Here's a glance at the top-ranked defensive backs in this year's draft class. Many of them could be on the board when Cleveland makes its pick to kick off the second round.
DB Jalen Ramsey
Widely considered the best DB in this year's draft, played both safety and cornerback at Florida State; won a national title with the Seminoles in 2014.
DB Eli Apple
Two-year starter at Ohio State who saw his stock rise following a solid showing at the combine, won a national title with the Buckeyes in 2015
CB Vernon Hargreaves
The Gators' top cornerback, notched 10 interceptions in three seasons.
CB Kendall Fuller
Hard-hitting DB who anchored Virginia Tech's defense, but missed most of last year because of a knee injury.
CB Mackensie Alexander
Key cog on Clemson's defense, helped lift the Tigers to an appearance in the national championship game last season