2016 Record: 1-15 – 4th in AFC North
Passing: Cody Kessler – 1,380 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Isaiah Crowell – 952 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: Terrelle Pryor – 1,007 yards, 4 TD
Tackles: Christian Kirksey – 148
Sacks: Emmanuel Ogbah – 5.5
Interceptions: Briean Boddy-Calhoun/Jamar Taylor – 3
QB Brock Osweiler
QB DeShone Kizer
TE David Njoku
OG Kevin Zeitler
DE Myles Garrett
DB Jabrill Peppers
SS Calvin Pryor
QB Josh McCown
WR Terrelle Pryor
TE Gary Barnidge
LB Demario Davis
DB Tramon Williams
– Cleveland added a ton of talent through the 2017 NFL Draft. Even if they don’t produce this year, Kizer, Njoku, Garrett, and Peppers make up one of the best draft classes I’ve seen in a while.
– The Browns’ offensive line is incomplete but talented. Joe Thomas is still one of the, if not the best tackles in football, and Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler are very good on the inside.
– Isaiah Crowell is a talent at running back. With the addition of Zeitler he should have an even better line to run behind. I said a few days ago in his player profile that I believe this will be a pro bowl season for Crowell.
– The Browns’ front seven is actually loaded with talent. Myles Garrett, Danny Shelton, Emmanuel Ogbah, and the return of a healthy Desmond Bryant makes their line look tough, and Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey are two of the best tackling linebackers in football.
– Quarterback. Quarterback. Quarterback. Who is the starter? How long will they start? Will they stay on the field? Who knows. Brock Osweiler is coming off an embarrassing 1 year stint with the Texans while DeShone Kizer probably isn’t ready for the NFL just yet. Cody Kessler showed flashes of brilliance in 2016 but he hasn’t been able to stay upright or off the injury report.
– Just how much will Cleveland miss Terrelle Pryor? I shudder to think of the numbers he could have put up with a good offense last season. Kenny Britt isn’t that guy and Corey Coleman had only 33 receptions in 10 games in his rookie year. Remember Josh Gordon?
– Was Ryan Grigson really the best guy they could think of to hire as their senior personnel executive? Remember, this is the guy who drove the Colts into the ground. The guy who is responsible for wasting Andrew Luck’s career. I don’t like the hire.
Projection: 3-13, fourth in AFC North.
It pained me to put the Browns at 3-13. I truly think they field a talented roster, but I think they’re a few years away from making the jump. They play in a division where the other three teams are good enough to make the playoffs if things go their way, and unfortunately only play the Jets and Bears once.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope they pull out 6 or more wins, but I’m just being realistic. This is the best the Browns have looked since Brian Hoyer had them rolling to a 3-2 start in 2013 before tearing his ACL. We just need to give them time to put things together.