To say the offense was underwhelming and inconsistent last year is an understatement. Some fans blame the play calling, some blame the quarterback, some blame injuries and Covid. The bottom line is the 2021 Browns offense had the weapons. Browns GM Andrew Berry promised to improve the passing game in the off-season, and he did. So going into the 2022 NFL season, who are the top five offensive weapons on the roster.
5. TE, David Njoku. His career stats as a Brown are 148 receptions for 1754 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s averaged 11.9 yards per catch. In 2021 he caught 36 passes for 475 yards and four touchdowns. He has a career catch percentage of 61.7, following a 67.9 catch percentage in 2021. Last year he had a 3.8 drop percentage, in other words, he dropped two passes. Because of his size and speed, he can line up anywhere on the field and create a mismatch. Has committed himself to become a great run blocker.
4. RB Kareem Hunt. His career stats are 3557 rushing yards on 772 carries with 28 rushing touchdowns and 176 receptions for 1596 yards and 16 receiving touchdowns. As a Cleveland Brown he has 1406 rushing yards on 691 carries with 13 rushing touchdowns and 97 receptions for 861 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Hunt is most dangerous when he goes in motion and gets lined up against a linebacker near the goal line. Exceptional at catching the ball out of the backfield. He can even line up wide like a wide receiver.
3. WR, Amari Cooper. His career stats are 517 receptions for 7076 yards and 46 touchdowns. In seven years in the NFL, he’s had four 1000-yard seasons, back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 and again back-to-back in 2019 and 2020. He was a rookie in 2015 with the Raiders and 2020 was his first full season with the Cowboys. So twice in his career, he’s excelled in the first year with a new team. The 2020 season was his best, 79 receptions for 1189 yards and eight touchdowns. Cooper is an excellent route runner who has great separation and will become wide receiver number one in the Browns offense
2. RB, Nick Chubb. His career stats as a Brown are 4816 rushing yards on 908 carries for 36 rushing touchdowns and 92 receptions for 751 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Last year he had 1259 yards on 228 carries for eight rushing touchdowns and 20 receptions for 174 yards and one receiving touchdown. He has a career 5.3-yard average per rushing attempt. In 2021 it was 5.5 yards. While Hunt is a better pass catcher, Chubb is excellent at the screen pass. With his vision and cut-back ability, he can score from anywhere on the field.
1. QB, Deshaun Watson. His career stats are 1186 of 1748, (67.8%) for 14,539 yards 104 touchdown passes, 36 interceptions for a QBR of 104.5. He’s rushed for 1677 yards on 37 carries, (5.5) for 17 touchdowns. 2020 was Watson’s last year he played, he was 382 of 544, (70.2%) for 4832 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a QBR of 112.4. He rushed for 444 yards on 90 carries, (4.9) for three touchdowns. The 4832 yards and the 8.9 yards a catch were league highs in 2020 and his career 67.8% completion percentage is an NFL record. The run-pass option with Watson at quarterback and Chubb and Hunt in the backfield will be dynamic. Every defense will have to play a little closer to the line of scrimmage. This will allow his passing accuracy to shine and make the pass catchers better.
The big question is will Deshaun Watson be suspended and for how many games? That’s the unknown right now, however, if he plays the majority of the season, he is the most important playmaker on this list.