A year ago, the Cleveland Browns were seen as a team with some talented players but a lot of questions. One year later, the Browns are seen as a team with a lot of talented players and the only questions being how far can they go with all the talent.
Even during some of the worst of years in Cleveland, the team always seemed to have one or two players that were highly regarded. Whether it was Joe Thomas, Joe Haden, Josh Gordon (at times), Peyton Hillis (for a year) or a variety of other players, the Browns have not been bereft of any talent, just not enough.
The team also never had stability.
The 2020 season seems to have changed all of that and has the Browns in discussion for the Super Bowl instead of first overall picks. That respect showed today in CBS Sports’ ‘All-AFC North team’ selections.
Cleveland players are littered all over the roster with the highlight being four of the five offensive linemen wear brown and orange:
The Browns finished last season ranked first by PFF in both run blocking and pass blocking. They also finished first in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards, and allowed pressure on the second-lowest percentage of dropbacks, according to PFF. So it should come as no surprise that they dominate this section of the roster. Stanley missed much of last season due to injury but is still firmly in his prime and one of the league’s best left tackles. Jedrick Wills could reach his level eventually, but isn’t there yet. Neither the Bengals nor Steelers had a lineman seriously challenge for a roster spot here.
On offense, Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. join the offensive line guys on the team while the defense has someone at every level with Myles Garrett, Anthony Walker, Denzel Ward and John Johnson III on the list.
Cleveland leads the way with 10 players on the list while Baltimore has eight (including three special teamers), Pittsburgh has six and Cincinnati has three.
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