The Cleveland Browns have put together what looks to be, at least on paper, a playoff-caliber squad for the upcoming NFL season.
Deshaun Watson will be under center for a full season with his new teammates and he will have wide receiver Amari Cooper, one of the best at running routes, to throw the ball to, as well as newcomer Elijah Moore.
On the defensive side of the football, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and pass rusher Za’Darius Smith should improve a unit that was giving up points too easily last season.
But of course, the main lynchpin for Cleveland remains star running back Nick Chubb.
According to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, he has been the second-best player on the Browns since 2006, only slightly behind legendary offensive tackle Joe Thomas.
The highest-graded Browns in the PFF era 🟤 pic.twitter.com/8PqgeyHSaR
— PFF (@PFF) June 16, 2023
Chubb was the No. 35 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he quickly rose to prominence once he entered the league.
He ran for 996 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie despite starting in just nine games, and the next season he came very close to reaching 1,500 rushing yards while earning his first of four consecutive Pro Bowl berths.
Last season, he posted 1,525 rushing yards while also scoring a total of 13 touchdowns from scrimmage, both of which were career highs.
Watson’s arrival, as well as that of Moore, who is a legitimate speed threat at wideout, should take some pressure off Chubb moving forward.
At age 27, there is some question about Chubb’s long-term future with the Browns, but for now, he is in the prime of his career and ready to do some more damage to the rest of the league.