I think we can all agree that the Browns had one of their best drafts and free agency periods in recent memory. There is a ton of optimism throughout the building and it is attracting big name players. That’s one of the first steps of building a great team. If a player wants to be there, he will play a lot harder than someone who would rather be somewhere else. With that being said, let’s jump into a few notable acquisitions that make it look like the Browns are trending upwards.
Notable Offensive Acquisitions
(WR) Kenny Britt – I don’t think any of us thought of this being an actual option for the Browns. Many assumed we could lock up Terrelle Pryor, but that’s not how it went. Looking back at the 2016 season, Pryor and Britt had nearly identical numbers which made the decision to let Pryor walk not as bad as we thought it was going to be. It’s going to be fun to see Corey Coleman and Britt battle for the number one spot.
(RG) Kevin Zeitler & (C) J.C. Tretter – I put these two together because they are both helping at a serious need, protecting the QB. This was a struggle for the Browns last year, allowing 66 sacks and an overwhelming 4.13 sacks per game. Also, the Browns went through the 2016 season with six QBs. With those numbers, these two guys were ideal for the future of our QBs.
(TE) David Njoku – This move made the release of Gary Barnidge inevitable. It’s time to start fresh at the TE position and make sure Njoku is getting the reps he needs to be able to achieve an elite level. It’s expected that he will be the starter coming into the 2017 season. Buzz around OTAs has it that he is the top TE on the team.
(QB) DeShone Kizer – The Browns got lucky that Kizer fell this far. Kizer has sky high potential, but he’s going to have to learn the playbook and figure out who he is as a person still. Sounds weird, right? He knows he is far away from where he could eventually get to, so you know that this kid will put in the work. Also, he’s got great coaches in Hue Jackson and David Lee which could speed up the process.
Notable Defensive Acquisitions
(CB/FS) Jason McCourty – The Browns made a wise decision in adding Jason McCourty. A contract of only two years, worth six million dollars. It’s been discussed that McCourty could play FS depending on if his play had declined. I’d be okay with that considering the Browns do have two young and talented CBs in Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Jamar Taylor. With a degrading player in Joe Haden, it might also be wise to play McCourty at CB, too.
(SS) Jabrill Peppers – Another pick a lot of us did not expect this to happen, but the Browns always surprise us. In my opinion, selecting Peppers was an intelligent move because he’s versatile. When a defense has many holes, especially in the secondary, it’s important to get players that can play many or are sure-fire elite talent at one position.
(DE) Myles Garrett – A huge hole filled for the Browns. It was obvious that Garrett was going to be the number one pick despite all of the rumors swirling around saying a QB at number one is ‘very possible.’ Garrett will impact the defense immediately. He’s so much of a threat that teams will game-plan to stop him and they will forget Emmanuel Ogbah and company are on the other side.
It’s obvious that the Browns have a plan to turn this thing around. The 2017 season will be extremely exciting to watch because all of the young guys that will blossom into great players. Next season still might not be the best, but it certainly won’t be as bad as last year. I believe in the next two to three years, the Browns will be playoff contenders.
Follow the author on Twitter: @turnermaney
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