These 3 Browns have to play better in 2024 for the team to find success

If the Browns want to make a run in 2024, these 3 need to improve their play
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson, Jedrick Wills Jr.
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson, Jedrick Wills Jr. / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are in the midst of a final month off before training camp begins. Once they're all at The Greenbrier, the real work begins.

Cleveland will look to improve upon an 11-6 campaign and they've made some key changes to their roster. They're also getting some important players back in the mix following injuries in 2023.

Having said that, the Browns also need more from three starters who didn't live up to expectations. Here are three such players who need to perform better in 2024 for the franchise to find success.

3. Jedrick Wills, Jr., Left Tackle 

The 10th overall pick in 2020, Jedrick Wills, Jr. has been a starter since his rookie season. He's also been incredibly inconsistent while dealing with durability concerns.

He's coming off a knee injury this year and despite the 2024 class being loaded with offensive linemen, he remains the unquestioned starter at left tackle. That means the Browns are expecting him to improve upon his performance from 2023. He plays one of the more vital positions on the team, making it difficult to work around subpar play.

2. Juan Thornhill, Safety

After releasing John Johnson III, Cleveland signed Juan Thornhill to a three-year, $21 million deal. His addition was immediately praised as a steal for Andrew Berry, which seemed to be the case.

Thornhill excelled in deep coverage which is where the Browns had issues in 2022. He also had a championship pedigree coming off a Super Bowl win with the Kansas City Chiefs.

While he wasn't a liability, Thornhill didn't live up to expectations in 2023. He had 54 tackles but no interceptions — which was a career-first. He also missed six games due to injuries and struggled at times in coverage. According to Pro Football Reference, he gave up a completion percentage of 63.3 and had three touchdowns counted against him.

Cleveland’s defense was still vastly improved in 2023 but they need more from Thornhill if they're going to get through their daunting schedule in 2024.

1. Deshaun Watson, Quarterback

This one almost goes without saying.

Deshaun Watson was added in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans ahead of the 2022 season. He was signed to a five-year deal worth $230 million — fully guaranteed. Cleveland bet all they had on Watson and so far, it hasn't paid off.

An 11-game suspension limited him to six games in 2022 and a shoulder injury limited him to six games in 2023. While he's had some moments of brilliance, his play has been inconsistent and unpredictable.

Throughout the 12 games he did play all we heard was how he needed to knock the rust off. Heading into 2024, the Browns need to see him hit the ground running and finally become the player they’re paying him to be. Until he does that, they're going to struggle to make a deep run in the postseason.

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