Jason La Canfora picks Cleveland Browns to win the AFC North

<> at Heinz Field on January 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
<> at Heinz Field on January 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. /

You can add Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports to the list of NFL analysts to pick, way too early, the Cleveland Browns winning the AFC North.

We are still over 100 days away from the NFL season kicking off, but we have to find things to talk about and analyze in the meantime.

La Canfora wrote about who he thinks will win each division this upcoming season, with a confidence level on a scale from 1-10. He gave the Browns the division with a confidence level of six.

This seems to be a good level of confidence as of right now. We still have an entire summer to see how this team comes together and how they mesh on the field.

The Browns have already gotten a good amount of praise from those who cover the league for the outstanding offseason general manager Andrew Berry has put together via free agency and the draft.

Last season was one for the ages for Cleveland, something the fan base has been hoping and praying for over the last 20 years. The team won 11 regular-season games, making the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. They also knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, in Pittsburgh, for their first playoff win in 26 years.

For as great as the season was, there were major holes defensively, which is why Berry spent most of the money this offseason to improve it.

The free-agent additions of John Johnson III, Troy Hill, Anthony Walker, Jadeveon Clowney, and Takk McKinley have fans happy as can be. Add in the additions of Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and defensive coordinator Joe Woods should be salivating visualizing how he will use these new pieces in his defensive schemes.

The offense should be ready to fire on all cylinders as it returns all 11 starters, including the best offensive line in football, the best running back tandem, and a quarterback in Baker Mayfield who took huge strides in 2020.

The Browns’ biggest obstacle to overcome to win the AFC North is the Baltimore Ravens. Last season, Baltimore took the only two meetings between the two teams, with the second of the two being a game of the year contender.

If Cleveland wants to take the next step, they must outlast Baltimore for the divisional crown. The NFL schedule makers sort of did the Browns a favor for the 2021 season by scheduling the Browns to face the Ravens in Week 12, followed by a bye, followed by the second matchup with Baltimore. This will give head coach Kevin Stefanski and company nearly an entire month to prepare for the team that stands before them and the AFC North crown.

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There is still a lot of work to be done, but as of now, at least on paper, Cleveland is sitting in prime position to run the division in 2021 and beyond. La Canfora might only have a six on the confidence scale, but Browns fans should take that with glee.