The 2-2 Cleveland Browns have been better than expected on offense despite all of the offseason personnel changes and not as good as expected on defense or special teams.
Going into Week 5, the Browns rank 5th in offensive efficiency, 28th in defensive efficiency, and 14th in special teams efficiency.
#Browns now rank 5th in offensive efficiency, 28th in defensive efficiency and 14 in special teams efficiency
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 3, 2022
Because of this, the three Browns players who have exceeded expectations so far in 2022 are all offensive players.
They are as follows:
1. Jedrick Wills – Left Tackle
Left tackle Jedrick Wills is under pressure to perform well in 2022.
He is in his third NFL season, and his fifth-year extension decision will be made during the offseason.
Wills struggled in the transition from right tackle at Alabama to left tackle in the NFL, and he has dealt with injuries in his prior two seasons.
But in 2022, things are coming together.
Browns legend Joe Thomas coaching up Jedrick Wills Jr at Training Camp #Browns pic.twitter.com/ENnMvCYJoz
— Peter Martens (@ThePeterMartens) August 12, 2022
He spent time with Joe Thomas during training camp, and his game is improving.
Jedrick Wills took a lot of flack early on this year but man has he been playing good football. Not seeing the mental mistakes resulting in penalties right now. He's moving people in the run game and playing through the whistle doing his job and doing it well #Browns pic.twitter.com/5VwiNXWaMm
— Jacob Roach (@roachizm13) October 5, 2022
He is more disciplined and not committing penalties; he only has one through four games, and he has played nearly 100% of the offensive snaps.
Wills is also doing a great job protecting Jacoby Brissett‘s blind side and creating running lanes for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
2. Ethan Pocic – Center
It was very disappointing to see Nick Harris go down in the preseason.
Harris worked so hard to prepare himself for the starting center job when it was clear that the Browns were parting ways with veteran J.C. Tretter.
Ethan Pocic, in relief of Harris, has stepped up and played outstanding football.
Watch #Browns C Ethan Pocic completely remove former Brown DT Larry Ogunjobi (#99) from the play. Excellent job of torquing upon initial contact, and then just driving him laterally out of the play.
— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) September 25, 2022
He has not missed a beat and looks like he has been in the role for years in Cleveland despite just stepping into it and with a new quarterback in Jacoby Brissett.
He is quietly playing extremely well, and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is just one of the members of the Browns coaching staff who is taking notice.
Ethan Pocic appreciation post. Grading out better and better per PFF. AVP is really happy with his play. He was drafted as a C but SEA used him as a swing interior lineman and he played way more G than C. Great depth pickup by AB. I working out well with Nick Harris out. pic.twitter.com/xRZL01gNAC
— 🇺🇸BROWN SPIDER ADVENTURES!!!🇱🇷 #D4L (15-2) (@BrownSpiderCLE) October 6, 2022
Pocic is also durable; he has taken 100% of the offensive snaps through the first four games of the season and has picked up a little playing time on special teams in the past couple of weeks.
3. Jacoby Brissett – Quarterback
Let me preface this by saying that Jacoby Brissett is a solid backup quarterback.
But it was difficult to know what we could expect given the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson‘s suspension that lasted until August.
Jacoby Brissett dropping DIMES to Donovan Peoples-Jones! 🔥#CLEvsATL x #Browns pic.twitter.com/xovcb0mkvf
— BROWNS OR DIE 💀 (@BrownsorDie) October 2, 2022
Brissett took first-team reps up until that point in training camp, but he was sharing those reps with Watson.
It was not ideal preparation, but not something unusual for Brissett who had more notice this time around as QB1 than when Andrew Luck abruptly retired just weeks before the 2019 season.
Brissett has played well.
He has managed the game with an even-keel personality and for the most part, he has avoided big and costly mistakes.
Browns QB Jacoby Brissett on Cleveland having more running yards than passing yards through three games: “Listen, I don’t have an ego to where I want to be somebody that I’m not.” #Browns pic.twitter.com/A04mV5JoIC
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) September 28, 2022
More importantly, he is a veteran who knows what he can and cannot do.
He does not have a big ego; winning is all that matters which means he is not chasing stats.
All three players have played at a level that has exceeded expectations in the early portion of the 2022 season.
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