The Cleveland Browns received great draft grades, but the team still needs to prove it can win on the field in order to move up in power rankings.
Power rankings in May are not something to get worked up about, but they do serve as a good measuring stick for how a team stacks up against the rest of the NFL.
And when it comes to the Cleveland Browns, there is a long way to go before even being considered an average team.
The Browns are ranked No. 32 in ESPN’s post-draft power rankings. Fans may claim the Browns should be ranked higher than the New York Jets, but that is a sad argument best saved for another time.
The Browns did come in at the No. 31 spot in NFL.com’s recent power rankings, ahead of the Jets, but the point is that the team has a long way to go.
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Fans are excited about the draft haul, and rightfully so. The Browns added a dominant defender in Myles Garrett, and were able to grab both Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku later in the first round. All three are expected to come in and start right away, giving the Browns some top talent, at least on paper.
That is the key to these rankings. The fact this is all speculation is why the Browns didn’t rise in the power rankings after the draft. Draft grades are essentially meaningless until a few years out, when people can look back and see how the drafted players performed once reaching the NFL.
Fans know this, which is why no one should get too upset about the Browns being ranked so low after what is being deemed a great draft. The 1-15 record is what stands out when determining the rankings, and the Browns have to make improvement on the field to regain any amount of respect around the NFL.
The Browns are going to continue showing up at the bottom of power rankings until the season begins. But a Week 1 win at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers could go a long way in changing that and making the Browns a team to watch in 2017.