The Cleveland Browns didn’t get much out of OBJ, Austin Corbett or Larry Ogunjobi, but they all contributed to their Super Bowl teams.
The NFL has considerable player movement, so there are bound to be a few Cleveland Browns on almost every NFL roster, but it is troubling that Odell Beckham, Jr., Austin Corbett, and Larry Ogunjobi are all playing at a much higher level than they played at in Cleveland, and that without them, their teams might not have made the Super Bowl.
Ogunjobi is on the injured reserve but was a major contributor at defensive tackle for the Bengals, while Austin Corbett is a mainstay at offensive guard for the Rams, and you have seen Odell Beckham, Jr. light it up in the playoffs after feuding with Baker Mayfield earlier this season.
Let’s start with Ogunjobi, who is probably the most controversial player. Linemen are hard to evaluate in general because they are always beaten up to some degree and you don’t know how much, and they are going up against an offensive lineman who is also nicked up to an unknown degree. Ogunjobi in particular seemed inconsistent when he was with the Browns.
In some games, he looked absolutely brilliant, including one game against the Bengals in 2020, which may have impressed them so much that they offered him a $6.2 million contract. This writer was not going to write an article blasting someone’s good fortune, but yeah, at the time, that seemed exorbitant. Other times he seemed to be much less stout against the run compared to Sheldon Richardson, who played like a stud for the Browns in 2020.
Yet Ogunjobi had eight sacks this season, which is outstanding for a defensive tackle, and played to rave reviews in Cincinnati. On the other hand, his grade from Pro Football Focus is rather mediocre, outside the top 64 nominal first-string players at the position. How can there be a defensive tackle with eight sacks, who is far below average?
Nevertheless, it is probably fair to say that the Bengals believe they received a good return on their investment, and PFF in this case deviates from the team’s perception. Who is right? The Bengals vs PFF and the BRowns? Well, PFF sided with the Browns in this case, but the Bengals are in the Super Bowl and the Browns finished below .500, so take your pick.