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Updated Browns offense starters after draft
Now that the draft is over, the Browns can start looking ahead to a return trip to the playoffs. But while defense was the main focus in the draft, it’ll be the offense that may determine whether Cleveland elevates into the same realm as teams like Kansas City and Buffalo.
In 2020, the Browns were right in the middle-of-the-pack when it came to yards per game, ranking 16th with 369.6. And while they also managed to average 25.5 points per game, it still ranked 14th in the league, in between fellow AFC playoff hopefuls Las Vegas and Miami.
Following free agency and the draft, here is who the Browns should be sending out for Week 1 on the offensive side of the ball, health provided, of course.
Quarterback - Baker Mayfield
After a career-best season, Mayfield left no doubt as to whether he was the right quarterback to lead Cleveland going forward. He will look to build off of last season even more in year four.
Running back - Nick Chubb
Even though Kareem Hunt will have a major role in the backfield, Chubb is still the lead back for the Browns. Despite injuries costing him four games last season, the fourth-year back still ran for over 1,000 yards.
Wide receiver - Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry
The Browns are seriously hoping to see vintage Beckham in his third year with the team after the talented receiver was limited to just seven games last year.
Fortunately, Landry is there to provide some consistency after being targeted over 100 times last year. Rashard Higgins and rookie Anthony Schwartz will factor into the rotation as well, but OBJ and Landry will be on the field as often as they can be.
Tight end - Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant
Hooper was signed to a big free agent deal last year and provided a steady option for the Browns. But joining him for most of the season on the first team was fourth-round rookie Harrison Bryant. With both Hooper and Bryant proving to be reliable end zone options, playing time for former first-round pick David Njoku may be limited.
Offensive tackle - Jedrick Wills Jr., Jack Conklin
Like much of the offense, there is no doubt who will be on the outside of the o-line. With Cleveland investing a first-round pick into Wills last year and Conklin inked to a sizable free agent deal, the two of them form one of the best tackle duos in the league.
Offensive guard - Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller
Bitonio has been the longest-tenured member of this o-line and should once again hold his spot down on the left side. But it was Teller who, in his second year with the Browns, broke out to earn second-team All-Pro honors alongside Bitonio. This guard duo is as good as there is in the NFL.
Center - J.C. Tretter
The Browns drafted Nick Harris on Day 3 of last year’s draft, but so far, the 30-year old Tretter is still holding things down at center. The veteran is still under contract for two more seasons and has yet to miss a single start in his four years with Cleveland.
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