The Cleveland Browns won 11 regular season games and a postseason game in 2020-21 while finally making the leap that seemingly everyone across the NFL landscape had been expecting for the last several years. With the Browns now sporting an improved roster under the direction of soon-to-be second-year NFL head coach Kevin Stefanski, the 2021-22 campaign may very well turn into another memorable one for Cleveland.
Turning things around in a hurry, the Browns have begun to play well, draft well and attract the league’s top talent, all of which could not be said about the AFC North franchise for the better part of two decades. However, it is all about the present and future in Cleveland as the past continues to fade away with every win and every step closer to a potential Super Bowl run.
Because the Browns continue to do just about everything well these days, it should come as no surprise that Cleveland even won a bidding war for former Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Marvin Wilson earlier this offseason. The Browns managed to sign Wilson as an undrafted free agent despite the fact that the former Florida State standout was once projected to be a possible first round NFL Draft pick.
The 22-year-old Wilson unfortunately encountered some injury trouble and some residual poor play during his final years at Florida State, which ultimately pushed him not only out of the first round in 2020 and 2021 but out of the NFL Draft altogether. Standng at 6’4″ while weighing over 300 pounds, Wilson no doubt has the tools to immediately succeed atop the highest level.
A first-team All-ACC selection in 2019 and a second-team All-ACC selection in 2020, the up-and-coming defender was also a two-time USA Today High School All-American in both 2015 and 2016. As a sophomore at Florida State back in 2018, Wilson stood out with 42 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks across 12 games.
In his junior season in 2019, though, Wilson really put his skill set on full display en route to producing 44 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, an even five sacks and pass defenses over the course of only nine games. It was then that Wilson suffered a season-ending injury, a setback that arguably cost him a spot in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Even after playing in six games for Florida State as a senior in 2020, Wilson just didn’t look the same. He did flash at certain points while blocking field goals and punts in addition to making some impactful plays in the opposing backfield. It will be interesting to see if Wilson can regain his form in Cleveland because, if so, the Browns got an absolute steal.
In addition to Wilson, the Browns also landed the services of former Charlotte 49ers running back Tre Harbison, former Charlotte 49ers defensive end Romeo McKnight, former Miami (Ohio) RedHawks cornerback Emmanuel Rugamba and former Kansas State Wildcats cornerback Kiondre Thomas via the undrafted free agent market.
Although most teams signed more than five undrafted free agents following April’s annual event, the Browns seemingly went for quality over quantity here — and for good reason.