Heading into the 2019 season, the Cleveland Browns were the most hyped team in the league.
Obviously the team fell below expectations, but it wasn’t due to lack of talent.
In 2019, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell listed the Browns as the third-best team in terms of offensive weapons.
There is only a few weeks before training camp, which means Barnwell’s 2020 list is out.
Surprisingly, the Browns offensive weapons ranked second in Barnwell’s new list.
Somehow Cleveland has moved up a spot despite their lack of production on offense last season.
The only team that ranked higher were the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Why Are The Browns No. 2?
Barnwell states “Their weapons aren’t the problem.
In some places, they’re better than they looked a year ago.”
That is the best way to possibly put the situation especially after the moves Cleveland made this offseason.
In free agency, the Browns added Austin Hooper, Jack Conklin, and Case Keenum who should all impact the Browns organization next season.
The organization has revamped their offensive line with Conklin and drafting Jedrick Wills with the No. 10 overall selection.
Wills was projected as one of the top tackles throughout the entire draft class.
Alabama tackle 74 Jedrick Wills has a chance to be an elite run blocker. This combo of strike, leverage & drive is pretty. pic.twitter.com/pstZdjxzYa
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 3, 2018
Another important factor is the addition of new head coach Kevin Stefanski.
He’s bringing with him a new zone-blocking scheme that should do wonderful things for the Cleveland offense.
Barnwell believes both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will benefit from the new scheme.
The Browns have really only made improvements on offense without losing much talent over the offseason.
Biggest Question Mark On Offense?
Barnwell mentions that the biggest question mark for Cleveland on offense is at wide receiver.
The organization is certainly talented there, but he does bring up a good point.
Both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry underwent surgery this past offseason.
The two-star receivers are expected to be back around August, so they should be ready around training camp.
Beckham is in need of a bounce-back year after an injury-plagued 2019 season.
He hauled in 74 receptions, 1,035 receiving yards, and four touchdowns with Cleveland last year.
That’s a fairly decent season on paper, but the expectations are higher for a superstar player like Beckham.
However, Barnwell knows what Beckham is capable of on the field.
“If he is the guy from Years 1 to 3, the Browns should be No. 1 here,” says Barnwell.
Hopefully, Beckham and Landry are back to full health and able to help the Browns offense flourish in 2020.
Another player that needs a bounce-back campaign is quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Everyone knows about the fantastic rookie year, but it came to a crashing halt last season.
2019 Interception leaders 📉
1. Jameis Winston 30
2. Baker Mayfield 21
3. Philip Rivers 20 pic.twitter.com/fgwiJY8LIg
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) January 23, 2020
Mayfield’s interception total rose from 14 in 2018 all the way to 21 last season.
Clearly, that is an area Stefanski is going to focus on with Mayfield right away.
Cleveland can’t be productive on offense if they continue to give the ball to the other team.
Stefanski was successful in turning around quarterback Kirk Cousins in Minnesota.
There is hope that he can get Mayfield back on the right track in 2020.
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