TDT Preseason NFL Power Rankings No. 29: Cleveland Browns
The Browns will most likely lose a lot once again, but at least they won't be the worst team in the NFL.
The Cleveland Browns have never appeared in a Super Bowl, a trend that will most certainly continue this season. The franchise has been a doormat for the rest of the NFL for quite some time now. Although they aren’t very good, it’s fair to expect them to be a little better than their 1-15 record from a year ago. With a strong draft class and a decent bit of effort, the Browns have the potential to move up this list by season’s end.
What I Like: The Browns were definitely one of the winners of the 2017 NFL Draft. They kicked things off by selecting defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick. They also grabbed versatile defender Jabrill Peppers, as well as athletic tight end David Njoku. While every rookie must make the adjustment to the pro game, these three have the potential to be big-time players in the future of the franchise.
What I Hate: At 1-15, it’s rather safe to say there were very few bright spots on Cleveland’s roster last season. One of those was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who caught 77 passes for just over 1,000 yards. Just as he was coming into his own, the Browns let him slip out of their grasps, as Pryor is now with the Redskins. Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt will now be their go-to-guys.
Offensive MVP: OT Joe Thomas Thomas is entering his 11th NFL season, most of which he has been a dominant force in the trenches. It’s rare to have an offensive lineman as your MVP, but it’s also rare to have a player like Joe Thomas on your team. He’s been selected to 10 Pro Bowls for a reason.
Defensive MVP: OLB Jamie Collins Joe Haden is the biggest name on this defensive unit, but there have been some health concerns for him. Collins is a guy who has displayed flashes of greatness over the past couple seasons with his freakish athleticism and knack for finding the football.
Season Outlook: This season could go a couple different ways for Cleveland. They could continue the trend and lose a bunch of close games. Or they could overachieve and improve last year’s record by three or four games, maybe even five. Their defense, when healthy, is far from a pushover, especially with Gregg Williams as the coordinator. On offense, there are some questions at quarterback, but their offensive line is pretty solid. Ultimately, it will come down to their will to win and fight with their backs against the wall because they will be in that position often. They’re still a far cry from a playoff team, but they will be better than last season.
5-11, 4th in AFC North