The Cleveland Browns to me had one of the best turnarounds in NFL history. It all came from the changing both the quarterback and head coach positions.

Don’t get me wrong, Tyrod Taylor is a very good quarterback, but with the system and future the Browns wanted to build, Baker Mayfield was the smartest route to go. Getting rid of Head Coach Hue Jackson was also the biggest thing to me when it came to trying to turn this miserable few seasons into a season that shows a bright future for this Organization.  Even though the season didn’t finish with a winning record, 7-8-1, there are high hopes for the upcoming season in Cleveland.

The season started off with a little bit of a hiccup with having Tayler starting at quarterback, which led to a slow start, to finishing a great season. It also didn’t help that the coach that hasn’t really had the best winning record in his career as a coach. But as soon as those two things were adjusted you could see the change not only in the locker room but also on the field. Mayfield brought a fiery passion that he had at college to the next level and it showed with his big ego.

Some people would say it is a terrible arrogance on the field, but to me, I love it. During the second half of the season, you could see Mayfield had a chip on his shoulder and continued to prove week by week that he had something to prove, not only to the coaching staff but the many doubters that come with him. 

Cleveland plans to finish more on the winning side of things this year and entering the playoffs for the first time in a very very long time.

If we fast-forward to this offseason we have seen MAJOR changes to the offense that can really take them over the edge and put them in Super Bowl contentions. Now, do I think that this particular change will help them win a Super Bowl in this upcoming season? Not really, but do believe that you shouldn’t be shocked if they make it there in the next few years.

This offseason they have traded for Odell Beckham Jr. who to many people is one of the best offensive players in this decade of football. This not only allows the former Giant to play with a better and younger quarterback that could both help shape and build a future and franchise within the Organization, but Beckham also gets to play with a previous roommate/teammate and long-time friend Jarvis Landry. Look for both of them to keep their motivation at a high point and try to push themselves to become greater than they are already.

Here are the position breakdowns, along with the projected starters, backups, and preseason cuts.

Quarterbacks

Credit: Getty Images
  • Starter: Baker Mayfield 
  • Backups: Drew Stanton, David Blough
  • Preseason Cuts: Garrett Gilbert

With only playing three-quarters of a season this past year he still put up pretty good numbers; 3,725 total yards, 27 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Looking at that stat line it looks like he had a normal rookie season, it really makes you wonder what his stat line would be if he had a full season of play along with more first-team snaps in playoffs when trying to mentally and physically prepare for upcoming Sunday games.

Running Backs

Credit: Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports
  • Starter: Nick Chubb
  • Backups: Kareem Hunt, Montreal Hilliard 
  • Preseason Cuts: D’Ernest Johnson, A.J. Ouellette, Trayone Gray

Chubb was another great asset that was added during the 2018 NFL draft, him flying underneath the radar with many other backs, such as Kareem Hunt, which funny enough has been added to the Cleveland roster this offseason. Even though he will be sitting out for the first six games of the season due to off the field issues, but once his suspension is up I believe Chubb and Hunt can be one of the best Running Back duos the league has ever seen.

Wide Receivers

Credit: Cleveland Browns Website
  • Starters: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway
  • Backups: D.J. Montgomery, Rashard Higgins, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi
  • Preseason Cuts: Dorian Baker, Ishmael Hyman, Damion Ratley, Jaelen Strong, Derrick Willies

With the addition of OBJ, we can see that Mayfield has another go-to weapon for deep balls and even Redzone threats. With OBJ coming off of what he presumes one of his not so best seasons he’s trying to prove that he can be one of the best WRs in the game. Look for him and Jarvis try to push each other in a fun competitive way and lead their division in receiving yards.

Tight Ends

Credit: Getty Images
  • Starter: David Njoku
  • Backups: Pharaoh Brown, Stephen Carlson
  • Preseason Cuts: Orson Charles, Mik’Quan Deane, Seth DeValve, Demetrius Harris 

The Browns don’t have star names at the tight end position but Njoku is slowly putting his name in the ring as a good fit for what the Browns are looking for in being somewhat a third or fourth option for Baker Mayfield.

Offensive Line

Credit: Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports
  • Starters: Greg Robinson, Joel Bitonio, J.C. Tretter, Austin Corbett, Chris Hubbard
  • Backups: Eric Kush, Bryan Witzmann, Kendall Lamm, Drew Forbes, Brian Fineangofo
  • Preseason Cuts: Kyle Kalis, Willie Wright, John Yarbrough, Brad Seaton, Lo Falemaka

Not many changes when it comes to the offensive line, but also they do need to work on trying to keep their quarterback better protected. Not saying they are the only team that has this issue every team’s offensive have their flaws. Luckily with their quarterback being young and more durable than many QBs in the league, they have time to adjust and become a more fundamentality sound line.

Defensive Line

Credit: Getty Images
  • Starters: Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon
  • Backups: Genard Avery, Trevon Coley, Brian Price, Carl Davis, Chad Thomas, Anthony Zettel Devaroe Lawrence
  • Preseason Cuts: Jarrell Owens, Wyatt Ray, Chris Smith, Daniel Ekuale, Tracy Sprinkle

Garret has become one of the scariest young defensive ends in the league with a very bright future ahead of him. Believe this defense has a lot to prove at being one of the youngest in the league, with a lot of depth behind their start young talent.

Linebackers

Credit: D. Ross Cameron/AP Photo
  • Starters: Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey, Mack Wilson
  • Backups: Genard Avery, Anthony Stubbs, Sione Takitaki, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Adarius Taylor
  • Preseason Cuts: Willie Harvey, Dedrick Young II

Schobert and Kirksey are two tackling machines at the linebacker position. Rookies Wilson and Takitaki have superb athleticism and potential to be good linebackers quickly in the NFL. Armstong and Taylor will provide good depth and Special Teams help.

Cornerbacks

Credit: Getty Images
  • Starters: Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams
  • Backups: Phillip Gaines, Lenzy Pipkins, Jermaine Ponder, T.J. Carrie, Terrance Mitchell, Eric Murray, Donnie Lewis Jr.
  • Preseason Cuts: Jhavonte Dean, Robert Jackson, Tavierre Thomas

Ward burst out into the scene last year with a very good rookie season, looking for him to build on top of what he left on the field last season. Look for the veteran presence behind the young guns to show them how to close out big games later down the line when the season becomes close.

Safeties

Credit: Getty Images
  • Starters: Damarious Randall, Morgan Burnett
  • Backups: Eric Murray,  Sheldrick Redwine, Jermaine Whitehead 
  • Preseason Cuts: Juston Burris. J.T. Hassell, Tigie Sankoh

Look for Randall to continue to be one of the more versatile safeties in the league, while also seeing Burnett get a little bit more playing after seeing a former Brown Jabrill Peppers get traded to the Giants in the OBJ trade.

Specialist

Credit: David Richard/Associated Press
  • Kicker: Austin Seibert
  • Punter: Britton Colquitt
  • Long Snapper: Charley Hughlett
  • Preseason Cuts: Greg Joseph, Jamie Gillian

Colquitt and Hughlett are two solid players at their respective positions. I expect the fifth-round rookie, Austin Seibert, to take over the kicker job.

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