John Dorsey has been a busy boy this offseason.
The general manager of the Browns has acquired 14 new players, signing 11 and trading for three.
With the dust settling from those transactions and the April 25-27 NFL Draft on the horizon, it's worth noting the only position on offense or defense where Dorsey has yet to add a newcomer this year is cornerback.
Dorsey's desire to bolster the team's group of cornerbacks is real, though. Evidence emerged in early March when the Browns hosted former Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson on a free-agent visit before the 2015 first-round draft pick signed with the Buffalo Bills.
The Browns will have last season's starting cornerback tandem of Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell returning, and nickel back TJ Carrie will be back, too.
But there is a real need for better depth, especially because Ward suffered two concussions in a span of three weeks in December and Mitchell missed eight games last season with a broken wrist.
Also, the two players who were fourth and fifth in the cornerback pecking order last year, Briean Boddy-Calhoun and E.J. Gaines, were allowed to walk out the door as free agents. Boddy-Calhoun signed with the Texans, Gaines with the Bills.
All of this points to Dorsey drafting a cornerback with input from new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, a longtime defensive backs coach.
A safety could certainly be drafted, too, but the recent signing of Morgan Burnett and trade for Eric Murray lessens the urgency there.
The Browns traded their first-round selection as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. blockbuster, so they're not scheduled to go on the clock until the second round (No. 49 overall).
Most draft analysts have graded Washington's Byron Murphy, Louisiana State's Greedy Williams, Temple's Rock Ya-Sin and Georgia's Deandre Baker as the top four cornerbacks in this class and consider it unlikely they would last until No. 49.
Among the cornerbacks projected by Dane Brugler, draft analyst for the Athletic, to be selected in the vicinity of No. 49 are Michigan State's Justin Layne, Central Michigan's Sean Bunting, Houston's Isaiah Johnson, Kentucky's Lonnie Johnson and Vanderbilt's Joejuan Williams.
A Cleveland native and Benedictine High School graduate, Layne tweeted in March, "Go ahead and bring me home! @Browns." He tied for 48th in the ESPN Scout Inc.'s draft grades. He's 28th on a top 100 prospect list compiled by Brugler.
Layne, 6-foot-1¾ and 192 pounds, arrived at Michigan State as a wide receiver but moved to defense as a freshman and played both ways at times.
"Justin Layne I have kind of in that second-round conversation," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during a conference call in February. "There's no wasted movement. He's smooth. He's patient. He can play the deep ball. He's got outstanding instincts. He's got nice plant and drive. You see a little burst there [and] obviously the size you're looking for at the position."
Brugler sees Clemson's Trayvon Mullen, Notre Dame's Julian Love, Auburn's Jamel Dean, Michigan's David Long and Penn State's Amani Oruwariye as third-round choices. He mocked Dean to the Browns at No. 80.
Dorsey doubled down at corner last year when he drafted Ward fourth overall and Simeon Thomas in the sixth round (Thomas didn't make the team). Brugler predicted it'll happen again and mocked Valdosta State receiver-turned-cornerback Stephen Denmark to the Browns at No. 155 overall in the fifth round, where the Browns have three of their eight selections.
Other prospects Brugler projected to be picked on day three include South Dakota State's Jordan Brown, Ohio State's Kendall Sheffield, Washburn's Corey Ballentine, James Madison's Jimmy Moreland, Alabama's Saivion Smith, Texas' Kris Boyd, Clemson's Mark Fields, Baylor's Derrek Thomas, Miami's Michael Jackson and Toledo's Ka'Dar Hollman.
Denmark and Hollman took pre-draft visits to Browns headquarters, league sources said. Donnie Lewis Jr., a cornerback from Tulane and late-round prospect, documented his visit to Berea on Instagram.
Browns starting free safety Damarious Randall is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season. Burnett, their projected starting strong safety, recently signed a two-year contract. Murray, acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, has one season left on his contract.
So it wouldn't be a surprise if Dorsey were to draft a safety.
Virginia free safety Juan Thornhill disclosed via social media he was one of the team's pre-draft visitors. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. mocked Delaware free safety Nasir Adderley to the Browns at No. 49. Brugler mocked Washington strong safety Taylor Rapp at the same spot.
"Taylor Rapp is somebody who doesn't miss tackles," Jeremiah said. "He can play a variety of positions. You can play him as a nickel back or he could play a little bit over the slot if you wanted him to. He could be a high safety, could be a force player. He's just a really, really good player."
Other safeties Brugler projects to be picked in the second and third rounds include Mississippi State's Johnathan Abram, Florida's Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Iowa's Amani Hooker, Alabama's Deionte Thompson and Maryland's Darnell Savage.
Safeties Brugler projects to go off the board on day three include Kentucky's Mike Edwards, Marshall's Malik Gant, USC's Marvell Tell, Colorado's Evan Worthington, Oregon's Ugo Amadi, Boston College's Will Harris and Utah's Marquise Blair, a Wooster High School graduate.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.