The Cleveland Browns have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL….What? Dont believe me? Ok listen to this
For the last several years the browns have been at the bottom of the AFC North and even though they are constantly picking in the top 5 they have wasted their picks, signed bad free agents, had a revolving door at the QB position and gone through several coaching and general manager regimes.
Its been dreadful and im even at the point where i cant always blame the players. Sooner or later you have to look at the lack of stability and blame the organization for ruining careers of young talented football players but never the less they havent improved and nothing seems to have worked.
They completely cleaned house and cleared alot of salary cap space and once again started from scratch and this resulted in a horrific 1-31 record over the last two seasons but despite the record they have added many talented players in the draft and in free agency the last couple of years.
Heres a look at some draft picks that they hit gold with last season
Myles Garret- Defensive End
Myles Garret has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the league and will be there for a long time. He had some injuries last season but he still had 7 sacks and showed some promise. The Browns nailed this pick and he can be a corner stone to help build this defense and team around..
Jabrill Peppers – Safety
Peppers is an exciting defensive back who can play all kinds of roles and even help out on special teams. He is still a bit raw and his position isnt fully set yet but theres no denying his potential and skill set, i look for him to take the jump next season and become a full fledged play making starter.
David Njoku – Tight End
One of the overlooked rookies due to the 0-16 campaign and bad QB play. Njoku has the talent to be one of the best tight ends in the game, he is a mismatch who can line up anywhere on the field and with better QB play this athletic tight end can really do some damage especially with all the attention on all the other wide outs. He should get plenty of one on one match ups to take advantage of.
This was probably the best draft the browns have had in the last few years. They all have potential to be stars in this league and they will all be starting this season and hopefully for years to come.
This seasons free agency.
As well as hitting the draft they needed to do well in free agency and they managed to bring in some solid players who can start and help out right away.
QB Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor is not going to be the long term solution but he can start and win games for you and he has experience. He might actually be the best QB they have had in more then a decade but thats not saying much but he will hold down the fort while Baker Mayfield is getting up to speed. He wont turn the ball over as much as the QBs last season which will help the defense.
WR – Jarvis Landry
Jarvis Landry is a great WR who can constantly get open, move the chains and make tough catches. He will primarily play in the slot and work underneath but i dont buy that hes just a slot WR with no downfield speed…thats a lie he can do it all and his attitude and physical play will set the tone for this offense which is something people dont talk about.
RB- Carlos Hyde
Carlos Hyde is a decent starter in this league and can be a 1000 yard rusher for them and is an upgrade over anyone else they had. We might not have seen the best of him yet but he must prove he can stay healthy for all 16 games.
CB Damarious Randall
Randall is a versatile corner back that can play safety or the slot and in this day and age with so many 3 and 4 WR sets his versatility will help out this defensive backfield in a big way, he will be a starter where ever they decide to play him.
Now we move onto this years draft.
QB – Baker Mayfield
The Browns drafted Baker Mayfield 1st overall to be their franchise QB of the future. He was the most productive college QB last season but theres questions if he can transfer that production to the NFL and after missing on so many QBs in the past they really are under pressure to get this right. Hes the kind of QB that throws to who ever is open rather then locking on one guy and with all the weapons he has at his disposal he has a chance to be a good player for them. He does have some red flags like immaturity and height and was a bit of a surprise pick but they are hoping he will be like Drew Brees or Russel Wilson and not Johnny Manziel
CB Denzel Ward
Denzel Ward was the best CB in the entire draft and will start day 1. Hes a lock down man to man CB and will be asked to cover opposing teams number 1 WR one on one. If you have a shut down corner it makes the entire defense better and locks off half the field so all of a sudden they have a complete young and talented secondary.
RB – Nick Chubb
Nick Chubb was perhaps one of the best 3 RBS in this draft and even if he doesnt start he will split the load with Carlos Hyde. This gives Cleveland a solid backfield that can take the pressure off who ever starts at the QB position and the line is solid enough to open up the lanes and pass protect.
WR – Antonio Callaway
Callaway is perhaps the most talented WR in this years draft. He has failed drug tests and dealt with suspensions but he has great upside, the browns already sung this song with Josh Gordon but if he can put those issues behind him then he makes this offense even more deadly but if it doesnt work out they still have more then enough to get it done.
Old Faces still with the team
Among the rubble there has been some good players from previous regimes.
WR Josh Gordon
Listen if Josh Gordon can stay on the field hes one of the best WRs in the league. He can be Julio Jones or Calvin Johnson its really up to him how great he can be, we got a glimpse of it a few seasons ago when he lead the league in receiving even though he missed two games. He has size, speed and explosiveness but suspensions have limited him to just a few games over the last few seasons but again if he can stay clean and focus on football the sky is the limit and he can be a top level number 1 WR.
WR Corey Coleman
Corey Coleman is like the forgotten man cause he has been injured in his 2 seasons but people forget how productive he was when he was on the field. Hes one of the few picks that actually worked out and if he can stay on the field there is no reason why he cant be a very solid number 2 option for this team.
RB Duke Johnson
Duke Johnson is one of the best 3rd down backs in the league and will round out one of the best backfields in football if it all goes to plan, hes been one of the few bright spots but has been lost in the shuffle because of this teams history and constant losing but hes a very good RB that can do it all. He will mostly help out on 3rd downs catching the ball not only from the backfield but from any of the WR positions, hes that good.
MLB Jaime Collins
Collins is an athletic freak but he missed most of last season and hasnt done much since being traded from the Patriots but hes a young player with a ton of upside and now that the team has players around him and direction i think he can find his roll and be the force in the middle that they have lacked for years. Once thought of one of the rising stars of this league hes fallen off the map but he can get back to that level as he has age and great athletic ability on his side.
So lets look at the Browns potential starting line up on offense this up and coming season
QB – Baker Mayfield//Tyrod Taylor
WR 1 – Josh Gordon
WR 2 – Jarvis Landry
WR 3 – Corey Coleman
Tight End – David Njoku
RB- Carlos Hyde//Nick Chubb
3rd down RB – Duke Johnson
Really and truly this is one of the most talented offenses on paper in the entire league. If you gave Brady or Rodgers this line up i dont think they lose many games.
Theres question marks with guys like Gordon and Coleman staying on the field but IF it all goes to plan then this is a scary legit offense. With Gordon and Coleman on the outside and Landry in the slot and David Njoku being a match up nightmare in the middle of the field i dont know who you double team, someone will get free and there will be alot of one on one match ups and every single one of these guys can burn you.
The more i think about it the more excited i am but i just hope for ONCE that they can take advantage of the talent on the roster.
The Browns have collected picks and looked good on paper before but it never transpired into wins but i got a feeling that this time its going to work out and if it doesnt then it looks like another coaching and regime change is on the way…..
Now for the Defense potential starting line up
CB Denzel Ward
CB T.J. Carrie.
Slot CB and Safety – Damarious Randall
Safety Jabrill Peppers
MLB Jaime Collins
OLB Chris Kirksey
MLB Joe Schobert
DE Myles Garret
DT Larry Ogunjobi
DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Some potential stars and some players here dont get the renegotiation like Emmanuel Ogbah but he will start opposite Myles Garret and be productive but overall this unit has enough to get the job done as they have at least one good player on almost every level. The defense really wasnt as bad as people think last year and they are still very young but now with help from the offense they will be even better.
Last season with all the turn overs and lack of offense they were put in tight spots and bad field position most of the time but they still performed well so i look for them to take another step forward.
SO you see the Browns have alot of talent all over the place and there is no way that this team goes 0-16 again. I dont know about playoffs and all that stuff but i can see them going 7-9 or 6-10 which would be a huge step forward for them. Thats still below NFL standards but this team is so young and has alot of potential so going forward they will get better and better.
At least this team has a direction it wants to go for the first time in a long time but it would be such a shame if they finish 3-13 and fire coaches and start fresh once again as that will only put them back even further so lets all hope that they stay on this track and continue to build this team.
This team has more overall talent then anyone in the division except possibly Pittsberg since they have bell and brown but OVERALL i think they do and they actually have more talent then teams like New England and the Packers when you actually think about it….now im not saying they are better then those teams cause in the NFL it takes more then just talent to win and Brady and Rodgers obviously are by far the better QBs but this could be a very exciting team to watch for the next few years.