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The Cleveland Browns had two major pieces and not much else on their defense last year. Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward, despite COVID-19 diagnosis, confirmed their status as top-flight defenders.

The Browns spent this offseason attempting to build the rest of the defense around those two and safety Ronnie Harrison. John Johnson III, Troy Hill, Takk McKinley, Jadeveon Clowney, Malik Jackson and Anthony Walker were added in free agency while Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah were the team’s first two picks in the 2021 NFL draft.

Those additions as well as the expected return of Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit have Browns fans holding out hope for a great defense in 2021.

It also has CBS Sports ranking the team’s defense the best in the AFC, and third best overall in the NFL:

As high a hopes as I have for the Ravens, they are even higher for the Browns. They should be the most improved defense in the league. John Johnson III might have been the best free-agent signing of the offseason, a perfect match of skill set and team need. He’ll diversify the team’s coverages with his ability to play center field and rotate into two-high looks, and to make plays on the ball.

… this might be the most versatile group in the NFL.

A shockingly high ranking given the team’s poor performance last season and the large number of new players added to that side of the ball. CBS Sports has the Browns ranked just ahead of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers despite those teams having a majority of their defenses together for a long time.

A lot of hype for a defense that hasn’t spent any time together but the talent is there to backup that hype. Can the Browns defense put it all together in 2021 and prove CBS Sports correct?