Super Bowl Contender Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns added one of the biggest superstars in the NFL to their budding roster last week. Odell Beckham Jr is a player that stands out from his peers in terms of talent and ability on the field. This trade not only got the city of Cleveland buzzing but also sent the national media into a spiral about the Browns and their chances of being contenders next season. Let’s take a look at what the OBJ addition means for the Browns in this upcoming seasons.
Everyone knows that the NFL is a league that revolves around quarterback play and the Browns may just have one of the best up and coming in the league. Now let’s look at the upgrades the Browns have made this offseason to their offensive unit.
“Weapons” is a buzzword around the NFL and for good reason. The teams that seem to surround their QB with weapons go to the big game (think of Rams, Patriots, Chiefs, Saints). Well you cannot say that the Browns did not go out and get weapons for their young QB this offseason. Cleveland added top 5 players at both the running back and wide receivers position with Kareem Hunt and OBJ respectively. Regardless of Kareem Hunt’s off the field issues, his talent on the field is indisputable and after his eight game suspension to start the year Hunt will be a problem for opponents in the playoffs.
Also to pair with star wide out Jarvis Landry the Browns went out and got one of the best receivers based on per game stats of all time in Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ was handcuffed by one of the worst QB’s in the NFL for most of his career, an aging Eli Manning. Odell is one of the most desirable weapons in the entire league and the Browns added him to a core that already featured a solid offensive line, running back, and of course young QB. With the Odell addition and getting to pair Nick Chubb with Kareem Hunt in 2019 I expect the Browns to be a top-5 offense this seasons.
Now for the side of the ball that has not seemed to be talked about as much when we talk about the Browns and their Super Bowl aspirations. The Browns had a middling to low defense in 2018 as they had the 21st ranked scoring defense in the NFL. Now even though this is normally not the formula for a team with championship aspirations the Browns have reason to believe that they on defense this year.
Take into account the progression of the young defensive talent the Browns have as well as the draft capital they have and you are looking at an average to good defense. The defensive line is something to keep an eye on as they have built what could be a dominant unit in 2019. Myles Garrett is the star on defense, only 23 years old and already an impact player with dominant upside. This offseason the Browns have paired him with free agent addition Sheldon Richardson and trade acquisition Olivier Vernon. Those 3 alone are enough to keep a QB enough at night, but when factoring in depth like Ogbah, Coley, and Davis on that line you are looking at a potential elite unit.
Look for the Browns to add to their secondary as well through the draft to get Demarious Randall and their young corner Denzel Ward some help. The Browns have 8 draft picks this year, with none in the first after the Odell trade. This draft is loaded on defense though and with how aggressive the Browns have been this year do not be surprised if they make a move on draft night to get a guy they have fallen in love with. All in all the Browns defense has a floor of average in 2019 and have the potential to be a difference maker.
The Cleveland Browns are no longer the joke of the NFL that were just a few years ago. They are a team that needs to be feared across the league. I think that following the OBJ trade and the other moves the Browns have made that they are absolutely Super Bowl contenders. Also the Browns should be favorites to win the AFC North (Steelers in whirlwind, Ravens offensively limited). At +150 odds to make the playoffs I think you are getting a steal. The Browns are not just a good football team but have the chance to be great. Also the Browns at 5th best odds to win the Super Bowl seems like a solid risk-return as well.