ESPN recently released their 2023 NFL Position Group Rankings, and the Cleveland Browns made multiple appearances.
Mike Clay, an ESPN fantasy football analyst and a Pro Football Writers of America member, compiled a list of his top position groups for the 2023 season.
So where do the Browns groups stand amongst the league?
Quarterbacks - 9th
Running Backs - 7th
Wide Receivers - 19th
Tight Ends - 13th
Offensive Line - 2nd
Interior Defensive Line - 16th
Edge rushers - 4th
Off-ball Linebackers - 18th
Cornerback - 5th
Safeties - 15th
Overall - 5th
Overall, this is a fair ranking for a team that spent the offseason addressing areas needing improvement from 2022.
Deshaun Watson didn’t have the cleanest return last season, but it went about as expected from a quarterback who hadn’t played in over two years. Josh Dobbs, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and Kellen Mond make up a solid group of reserves.
Nick Chubb is the only one with a consistent NFL track record at running back.
Amari Cooper is coming off a career season in 2022, as Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and hopefully, a healthy Marquis Goodwin look to be a reliable core for Watson to target.
David Njoku is a workhorse for the offense at tight end, and Jordan Akins, Harrison Bryant, and Zaire Mitchell-Paden will figure out their roles following the preseason.
The Browns offensive line starters from 2022 have all returned, which for the most part, will help calm Watson while in the pocket.
The addition of Dalvin Tomlinson this offseason was an upgrade at the defensive tackle position, but the remainder of the interior defensive line is still questionable.
Myles Garrett has been an issue for opponents since the day he was drafted, and that doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. Za’Darius Smith’s presence opposite of Garrett will certainly haunt offensive lines and quarterbacks for weeks.
With a healthy Sione Takitaki, this linebacker group will be more of a threat than some are willing to admit.
Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II top the cornerback depth chart, which also includes Martin Emerson Jr and AJ Green III. The depth of this group will set them apart from almost every other team in terms of talent and reliability.
Juan Thornhill’s signing filled a hole in the safety room this offseason, and Grant Delpit looks to continue to improve his game after a 2022 year where he snagged four interceptions and recorded 105 total tackles.