Two Cleveland Browns are in the 90s in Spin Zone top-100
The Cleveland Browns added Odell Beckham, Jr. ahead of the 2019 season and expectations were through the roof. Not only was he an electric player early in his career for the New York Giants, but the Browns gave up a massive haul for him, indicating they had big plans for No. 13.
Unfortunately, his first season in Cleveland wasn’t all sunshine and roses. OBJ struggled to connect with new quarterback Baker Mayfield and made far too many headlines off the field. Still, he managed over 1,000-yards and that was while dealing with a core muscle injury that required surgery.
Even with his downfalls, Beckham was still a good player in 2019 and according to his peers, he was deserving of being placed in the top-100. In fact, OBJ came in at No. 59 in the league on the list that was released by the league. That’s a stark contrast from the ranking he just got from Samuel Teets of NFL Spin Zone.
Teets started his countdown to 2020 with his top-100 players in the league and on Monday, he released No. 100-91. There were two Cleveland Browns on the list with OBJ at No. 97 and guard Joel Bitonio at No. 91.
Before diving into Bitonio, let Beckham’s ranking soak in. One of the most prolific players in the NFL, Beckham ranked just 97th according to Teets which is barely above Rob Gronkowski (100) and Trent Williams (99) who didn’t even play in 2019.
As for the reason he’s so low on OBJ, Teets says that he’s still living on his fame from four years ago.
"“Odell apologists can blame Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s offense as much as they like, but Beckham wasn’t even a lock to make this list. He narrowly edged out two receivers who earned honorable mentions.For those of you still clinging to the Beckham from four years ago, consider that Tyler Boyd and Stefon Diggs outproduced the LSU product over the past two seasons in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.” — Teets, NFL Spin Zone"
It’s fair to say that Beckham wasn’t the player he was supposed to be in 2019 but this ranking is incredibly insulting. OBJ is still one of the elite talents in the game and the fact that he had 1,035 yards while playing through an injury that required surgery is proof of that — and if pointing that out makes me an Odell apologist, so be it.
Having said all that, Beckham understands there is hate out there and vows to silence the critics. That’s going to be hard to do because even when he was at his best during his days in New York, there were plenty of doubters who simply tried to tear him down for some reason.
But, let’s move on to the next Cleveland player on the list. A few picks later, Teets was more complimentary of Joel Bitonio, praising him for his durability and pointed out that he’s still entering his prime while calling him the 91st best player in the league.
"“The Associated Press (AP) selected Bitonio as a Second-Team All-Pro in 2018 and 2019, but Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave him First-Team All-Pro honors in 2014 and 2018. At 28 years old, Bitonio could play at an All-Pro level for another five to seven years.” — Teets, NFL Spin Zone"
Bitonio didn’t make the NFL top-100 which felt like an insult so it was nice to see him make it to this list. And the good news is, he clearly won’t be the final Browns player mentioned.
Even so, the ranking of OBJ at 97 is a tough one to swallow. And that’s coming from someone who openly admits he could have been better last year.