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NFL Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns: 5 Offseason Additions With Most To Offer In 2014

Cleveland Browns: 5 Offseason Additions With Most To Offer In 2014

Andrew Hawkins
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After another miserable season in Cleveland, the Browns were in need of changes on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Cleveland began its overhaul in the front office and along the coaching staff, but brought in many new faces — a mixture of veterans and young players to turn the franchise around. This offseason was a big one for the Browns on paper, and these five additions should make a big impact in 2014.

5. Justin Gilbert, CB

Justin Gilbert
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5. Justin Gilbert, CB

Justin Gilbert
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When Justin Gilbert was drafted in the first round by Cleveland, he was thought to instantly compete for the starting role alongside CB Joe Haden. Gilbert has decent size and blazing speed, which should enable him to have a lengthy career in the NFL. Cleveland is investing in its defense, so look for Gilbert to develop into a solid cornerback in defensive secondary that boasts Haden and safety Donte Whitner.

4. Andrew Hawkins, WR

Andrew Hawkins
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4. Andrew Hawkins, WR

Andrew Hawkins
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When Hawkins signed with the Browns during the offseason, he became an instant upgrade over previous slot receiver Davone Bess. Hawkins was able to average over 11 yards after the catch in 2013, and should be able to continue that pace with the Browns. However, deep threat Josh Gordon's season is in question, Hawkins and his 5-foot-7 frame will be pinpointed by opposing defenses. His playmaking ability should allow him to shine in 2014.

3. Karlos Dansby, LB

Karlos Dansby
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3. Karlos Dansby, LB

Karlos Dansby
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Dansby is a household name in the NFL. With an All-Pro season in 2013, Dansby is seeking to continue where he left off and fill the need left by D'Qwell Jackson at inside linebacker. He has the skills and size to both stop the run and drop back in coverage. His style of play should pay large dividends on third downs, which were a problem for the Browns last season. Look for Dansby's leadership to play a huge role on and off the field.

2. Donte Whitner, SS

Donte Whitner
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2. Donte Whitner, SS

Donte Whitner
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Whitner's homecoming to Cleveland gives the Browns' secondary a large boost. With T.J. Ward no longer lurking in the defensive backfield, Whitner's presence will be a talking point for opposing offenses' game plans. His ability to stop the run is a key reason why the Browns were looking elsewhere at strong safety. Whitner's leadership and style of play will enable his teammates to raise their play in a tough AFC North division.

1. Ben Tate, RB

Ben Tate
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1. Ben Tate, RB

Ben Tate
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Lacking any semblance of a running game in 2013, the Browns set out to sign this year's most coveted unrestricted free agent RB. With the Texans, Ben Tate showed that he can shine in the NFL; however, injuries have plagued the beginning of his young career. Tate will get a chance to showcase his skills as a No. 1 back, and if he's able to remain healthy, he has the platform to become a star. Tate will fit nicely into Kyle Shanahan's offense.