Season Preview – Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham Jr has said this will be his best season yet in the NFL. Browns fans pray he is right. (Photo: The Boston Globe)

Home games: Cincinnati, Washington, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh.

Road games: Baltimore, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Tennessee, NY Giants, NY Jets.

Projected record: 8-8

All of us who follow this sport know how much the fortune of the team lands with the quarterback. That scenario is again primary in Cleveland as Baker Mayfield gets the chance to figure things out on the fly.

Yes, the Browns seemingly have lingering issues off the field but nailing down a franchise QB would go a long way to alleviating those troubles.
Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, former Falcon Austin Hooper and David Njoku form a talented bunch of pass-catchers whilst Nick Chubb has more than proven his worth in the backfield.

Cleveland wisely used their round one pick to sure up the offensive line, bringing in Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. He will join forces with Jack Conklin who signed a three-year-deal in Cleveland worth $30m guaranteed.

Defensively, things look positive.
Myles Garrett is an All Pro talent, but he will have to leave behind some of the undisciplined plays he’s made in the past to be on the same level as Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt. Denzel Ward exploded onto the scene as a rookie before succumbing to some injuries last season. The Browns will be hoping he can bounce back and team up with former LSU Tiger, Grant Delpit.
Delpit was seen as a top 10 selection for much of the previous season but injury and some queries around his tackling led to a steep fall from the charts. Those in the know say he played many games in the Tigers championship-winning season under extreme duress so with good health, Delpit may be a pinch at pick 44 in the draft.

The pillars are there. Offensive weaponry, defensive force and playmaking and solid enough line play. Mayfield must improve sharply and the Browns need Beckham Jr to be good on his promise to have his best NFL season yet – anything less will invite more speculation about his place in Cleveland.

Seems like this is the case most seasons but the Browns are must-see TV in 2020/21.

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