The Cleveland Browns have aspirations of competing for a playoff spot in the absolutely loaded and very competitve AFC in 2023. They play in one of the toughest divisions in all of football in the AFC North. It's not only going to take their stars stepping up, but perhaps a number of "hidden" roster gems as well.
Thankfully, general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski have combined to put together a very solid roster with excellent depth on both sides of the ball. Whether the Browns need some of these guys to step up in terms of an injury replacement eventually, or if they're just going to be factors in the rotation and provide the occasional big play, this team has some guys flying under the radar a bit going into the season.
Let's take a look at the top 5 hidden gems on the Cleveland Browns roster in 2023.
Top 5 hidden gems on the Cleveland Browns roster in 2023
1. Jordan Akins, tight end
I think the Cleveland Browns made one of the most underrated moves of the 2023 offseason when they added Jordan Akins to the fold at the tight end position. Akins was previously a teammate of Deshaun Watson's when the two were with the Houston Texans, but even in the time the Texans have been figuring out their QB position in Watson's absence, Akins has found a way to progress and develop.
He has at least 400 receiving yards in three of the last four years including a career-high 495 yards last season at almost 14 yards per catch. Akins is very physical after the catch and he's a good athlete.
In tandem with David Njoku, I think he's really dangerous as a secondary threat. Even if the Browns needed to rely on Akins as a primary weapon in the passing game at tight end, I think he'd be alright.
Akins is one of the league's hidden gems at tight end, a true bargain for the Browns as a free agent acquisition.