Browns Set Sights on Stud USFL Pass-Rusher

Kevin Stefanski

Getty Images Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.

The Cleveland Browns are set to bring in USFL Defensive Player of the Year Chris Odom for a workout on Wednesday.

Brad Stainbrook of the Orange and Brown Report first reported Odom’s workout with the Browns. Odom notched 12.5 sacks in 10 games with the Houston Gamblers.

The stop in Cleveland is one of many for the 27-year-old pass-rusher out of Arkansas State. He’s previously worked out for the Texans, Chiefs and Bengals.

“The calls are starting to come in fast for the USFL Defensive Player of the Year,” Odom’s agent Louis Bing tweeted in early July.

Odom is a large, athletic presence at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds and could learn from two of the best in Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney if he lands in Cleveland. Odom has had scattered stints in the NFL previously but never caught on. He has 16 tackles and a pair of sacks in 11 games played, the majority of that production coming with Washington in 2019. He also spent time with the Salt Lake Stallions of the now defunct AAF.

The Browns have Garrett and Clowney holding down the top two spots on the depth chart but would welcome a high-upside prospect like Odom as a rotational player. Alex Wright, Stephen Weatherly, Chase Winovich, Isaiah Thomas, Curtis Weaver and Isaac Rochell are also in the Browns’ stable of defensive ends.

Myles Garrett ‘Locked In’ For Expectation-Laden Season

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Garrett is coming off a second consecutive All-Pro season, recording a franchise single-season record 16 sacks. He’s also among the preseason favorites to win Defensive Player of the Year, coming in at +750, behind only Steelers edge rusher TJ Watt and perennial contender Aaron Donald of the Rams.

Garrett’s defensive coach, Chris Kiffin, believes that his powerful pass-rusher is ready for a massive year.

“I absolutely see (DPOY) in his future,’’ Kiffin told reporters on July 30. “I think he does, too. With him I know it’s only day seven, day six of camp, he’s been locked in more so than I’ve ever seen. He’s out early to everything. He’s really taken the next step, as far as in our defensive line room being the leader.”

Browns Defense Ready to Hold it Down With Watson Out

The Browns will be without star quarterback Deshaun Watson for the six games of the season. In his absence, Jacoby Brissett hold down the fort as the starter. The team has faith in the 29-year-old veteran but are focused firmly on what they have to do, which is keep opponents off the board.

“We can’t even worry about that other side of the ball if we are not doing our job. That is our mindset right now is doing our job first,” linebacker Anthony Walker told reporters on August 2. “I told Jacoby and I will tell (QB) Deshaun (Watson) the same thing, I am so confident in our defense. Just give us however many points as you can, and we will make sure we hold our opponent under that. You have that belief and that confidence in your defense and the offense, as well, and that is what it leads to. We will be fine whoever is back there.”

The Browns four winnable games out of the gate in the Panthers, Falcons, Jets and Steelers. Three of those teams will likely be trotting out new quarterbacks, one of which could be Baker Mayfield with Carolina. The final two games with Watson out come against playoff teams a year ago in the Chargers and Patriots.

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