The Cleveland Browns had a strong offseason, draft and miraculously stayed healthy in camp. The team will be at full strength in week one and has its most talented roster since its return to the NFL. The team has hopes of a division title and another playoff berth potentially in the cards. There is a lot to talk about it when it comes to the Browns despite all the positivity. As we close in on week one of the NFL season it’s time for me to give you my official predictions for the Browns.
Best Position Group
With all the talent that lies on this roster, it’s hard to pick one group. You could argue for running back, defensive backs, and probably even wide receiver. However, none of those seem to be as complete as the offensive line room. With all five starters returning from a unit that was arguably the best in the NFL last season, the offensive line looks to be even stronger with added depth at all 5 spots. The Browns, to the surprise of many, kept ten offensive linemen on the roster for this season. And they have a specific backup for all five positions, which has been a rarity in the past for them.
We saw the depth of this line put to the test in playoffs, as Michael Dunn and Blake Hance were thrust into action due to injuries and covid-19 issues. Those two players both made the roster and add great depth at guard. It was hard for the Browns to improve this position group, and it seems they were able to do that.
This group is amplified by the amount of talent the Browns have on the rest of their offense. The running back group is strong and their ability to create yards makes the group look even better.
Worst Position Group
Despite the talent this roster has, it still has its weaknesses. Unfortunately for the Browns, it seems to be the same weakness as it was last season. The linebacking core of this team, while improved from last season, still has some improvement to do. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Anthony Walker will help this group tremendously, but they still have very few established players to count on. If the young players in the room such as Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki take the steps the Browns hope they will, then I could see the linebacker room overachieving. But on the surface, I see this room as a large question mark and the success of this season could depend on how well they play.
It’s worth mentioning that the defensive line is also not as strong as one might’ve hoped. The Browns have a lot of veterans that will need to perform if the Browns want to produce on the defensive side of the ball. I do think, however, that with a plethora of veterans this group is way easier to trust than the linebacker. Well that and they have Myles Garret, and that helps.
Surprise Star Player
When the Browns took Donovan Peoples-Jones in the sixth round in the 2020 NFL draft, they knew what kind of player he could grow into. And so far in camp, he’s flashing all of that potential. A player who fell in the draft, due to misuse at college and limited production Peoples-Jones always had the talent. He is a former five-star recruit and was one of the top receivers in his recruiting class. The Browns jumped on the opportunity to take him when they did and he has already proven to be worth that pick and more.
All the signs point to a breakout season for the young receiver. He had a good camp, a good preseason, and has been taking reps with the first-team offense. He has every tool to be a good player and already has good chemistry with Baker Mayfield. If I had to pick any player on this current Browns team to break out in a big way, it would be Peoples-Jones. In an offense with this much talent, having a player like Peoples-Jones breakout could be huge for the Browns. He could add a whole level to the team as he creates another tough matchup to guard.
Record and Playoffs Prediction
In a division that features perennial playoff teams such as Pittsburgh and Baltimore, it is tough to guess who wins the AFC North. It would seem to come down to Cleveland and Baltimore as they have the two most talented rosters on paper in the entire NFL. The Browns haven’t won a game against Baltimore since 2019, and have lost 11 of the last 15 games the teams have played. So it’s hard for anyone to assume that the Browns will overtake the Ravens in the division. Despite the injuries the Ravens have, they still should be favored based on those stats alone.
That being said, however, I still think the Browns have a great chance to make the playoffs as I still anticipate they go 12-5 this season. If the Browns can grab a home playoff game, things look very good heading into the postseason. After a divisional round berth last year, all signs point to Cleveland taking continued steps forward. If they can get the right matchups you never know what could happen.
This is the most anticipated season in recent memory for the Cleveland Browns, and it should be an awesome ride watching this team battle on the gridiron. They have talent all over the board, a good coach, and a great front office that has a plan to win. The Browns are back.
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Thanks for reading my article on The Cleveland Browns season.
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