Gripes with Cleveland Browns Offensive Rankings

Gripes with Cleveland Browns Offensive Rankings

Nick Pedone
2 years ago
4 min read
Gripes with Cleveland Browns Offensive Rankings

Over the past couple of weeks, ESPN compiled lists of the top 10 players at each position in football. Last week, we took a look at where members of the Cleveland Browns’ defense were slotted according to various NFL coaches, scouts, and executives.

This week, we’ll look at the offensive players who were mentioned and whether or not they should be higher on the list, lower on the list, or just right. 

Quarterback – Baker Mayfield – Honorable Mention 

One of the most hotly contested debates of the offseason in Cleveland has been whether or not Mayfield is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL. The executives don’t believe him too right now, and that may be a fair take. But a couple of the guys slotted ahead of him – LA’s Justin Herbert and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – look like a bit more projection than proven to date.

While Mayfield may not quite be there now, if he has another season like last year – especially the final 10 games – he’s going to be on this list next summer, and there will be no argument about it. 

Running back – Nick Chubb – 4th

Chubb is the least surprising member of any top 10 list on the offensive side of the ball for the Browns. In fact, the argument here is that he should be higher than fourth. The only running back that’s universally considered better than him right now should be Derrick Henry. After that, Chubb’s game stacks up with everyone else. 

The case can be made that Chubb is a victim of being in the most talented backfield in the NFL. Sharing things with Kareem Hunt means that he is asked to do less than all the backs ahead of him – and in the rest of the top 10 for that matter. He may only be fourth, but his 10 yards per carry in the fourth quarter of games last season shows that there’s no other back in the NFL a team would rather have closing out games.

Running back – Kareem Hunt – Honorable Mention 

As mentioned above, the backfield for the Browns is an embarrassment of riches. Chubb narrowly missed out on a rushing title back in 2019, and Hunt has one to his name. He also bring a different skillset to the table with his ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Being in the honorable mention category feels right, but only because he’s technically a backup. If he were still a lead back like he was in Kansas City once upon a time, he would likely still be putting up numbers good enough to crack the top 10. 

Wide receiver – Odell Beckham Jr. – Honorable Mention 

Beckham Jr. is another player that could be back in the top 10 at his position next summer and no one would bat an eye at it. There’s little question of his talent, but his production in Cleveland hasn’t matched that for a number of reasons, and little of his own fault. If he and Mayfield finally are able to link up on the field in the fashion that the Browns dreamed of when he was acquired from the Giants before the 2019 season, then this offense becomes that much more dangerous, and Beckham is universally praised. 

Wide receiver – Jarvis Landry – Honorable Mention 

This feels like the correct spot for the other Louisiana State Tiger in the wide receivers room. Landry isn’t going to blow many away with one attribute in particular, but he’s the most dependable guy the Browns have to throw the football too. He won’t make flashy big plays and doesn’t command the same level of attention that others on the offense may, but he can be counted on each and every Sunday.

Tight end – Austin Hooper – Honorable Mention

Hooper was a bit of a letdown last season, although inside the Browns facility it may be felt otherwise. When the team made him one of the highest-paid tight ends last offseason, much was expected out of him. He had a solid season with the Browns, but it certainly wasn’t enough to justify the cost. A better second season in Cleveland can have him in the top 10 at his position, but right now honorable mention feels right. 

Interior offensive line – Joel Bitonio – 5th

For all of the praise Wyatt Teller received on the other side of the center –and it was well deserved – Bitonio is still Cleveland’s best offensive guard atthis point. He may not have been graded out as the best offensive lineman onthe team last year, but to this point he’s still the best guy on the best groupin the league. Maybe Teller has a repeat performance of his stellar 2020 thisseason and that changed, but until then, Bitonio should be ranked higher. 

Interior offensive line – Wyatt Teller – Honorable Mention

It can remain true that Bitonio should be ranked higher than Teller and Telleris ranked too low. He graded out by Pro Football Focus as the best offensiveguard in the NFL last season despite being just a third-year player that wasonce drafted in the fifth round. If Teller has the same type of season this year that he did last season, not only will he be in the top 10 next summer, he may be in the top three.

Offensive tackle – Jack Conklin – Honorable Mention 

Conklin was the Browns best offensive signing last offseason. He was named as a First-Team All-Pro and helped to boost the Browns among the NFL’s best offensive lines. The only justification to keeping him off the top 10 is that he plays right tackle instead of protecting Mayfield’s blindside.

Share article on: