Browns roster hilariously ranked below Pittsburgh by PFF
By Randy Gurzi
We all know the Cleveland Browns play in arguably the toughest division in the NFL. That was again proven when Pro Football Focus published their current roster rankings, which had all four members of the AFC North in the top 14.
While it's hard to argue against that, the final two teams in the North seem to be misplaced. In the article written by Dalton Wasserman and Jim Wyman, Cleveland is the final team at No. 14 and the Steelers come in ahead of them at 12th overall.
Now, those who want to say Pittsburgh should be ahead of the Browns will point to their 9-8 record and compare it to Cleveland's 7-10 mark from a season ago. However, this is supposed to be a ranking of the rosters as they stand now. Not for what they did in 2022.
With that logic, it's laughable to think the Steelers — who were just two games better than the Browns who played a backup quarterback for 11 games — didn't get passed in the offseason.
Pittsburgh lost two key members of their secondary — Cameron Sutton and Terrell Edmunds. They now turn to 33-year-old Patrick Peterson and rookie Joey Porter, Jr. but it's hard to say they didn't get worse in this area. Even the PFF article said as much, citing corner as a weakness.
"Cornerback is a weak spot on this team, so Porter is likely to see the field sooner rather than later. The former Penn State cornerback's press-man abilities should make him an interesting option opposite Peterson."- PFF
They also lost starting linebacker Devin Bush, and will turn to Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts, who were graded incredibly low by PFF.
As for the Browns, they vastly improved their roster this offseason. They added Elijah Moore, Dalvin Tomlinson, Ogbo Okoronkwo, Jordan Akins, Rodney McLeod, and Juan Thornhill while retaining all their key free agents. As if that wasn't enough, they even brought in Za'Darius Smith, although in defense of Wasserman and Wyman, that came after their article.
Still, that move alone might not have been enough to sway them as they claimed the Browns don't have depth at key positions and they seem to want to cling to Deshaun Watson's rust as his ceiling. They even went as far as to pick the 'under' on their 8.5 games over/under totals.
"With the uncertainty surrounding Watson’s potential return to form and a lack of depth at key positions, the Browns will find it difficult to come out on top of what is expected to be a tough AFC North."- PFF
Checking in on the rest of the North, the Baltimore Ravens came in at No. 8 and the Bengals were No. 3. It's hard to argue that too much since both have added to. their rosters without significant losses — you know, like Cleveland did.
But landing behind Pittsburgh almost feels comical at this point. But as is often the case with a team that's struggled to win, they're not going to get respect until they go out and demand it. They have the roster to do exactly that, let's just hope it gets done.