2019 NFL Power Rankings:
No. 13 Cleveland Browns
I'm still heavily invested in the Browns. I've yet to buy a seat on the team's bandwagon and tempered my expectations. However, I'm all in on Cleveland's transformation from league laughing stock to darling. Listen, I don't care about the countless soundbites proclaiming this and that from the team's star players. That has nothing to do with the fact that Cleveland general manager John Dorsey assembled a squad of dogs. I could also care less about the ass-whipping the All-Hype team took in Week 1. Yes, losing by more than 30 to a team that starts Marcus Mariota is embarrassing, but growing pains come with change.
As a fan, you love watching your team attack the offseason aggressively. Instead of sitting back and "trusting the process," Dorsey showed his commitment to building a winner. He acquired a generational talent in Odell Bekcham Jr to partner with Beckham's best friend, Jarvis Landry, a future Pro Bowl wideout in Antonio Callaway and gunslinger Baker Mayfield. Took a chance on Ohio native Kareem Hunt, adding the Pro Bowl bell cow to a backfield with Nick Chubb. He also upgraded the defense by adding game-wreckers up front in Oliver Vernon and Sheldon Richardson (one of the most gifted defensive tackles in the game) and a veteran defensive back in Morgan Burnett.
To think a team with first-year coach Freddie Kitchens and a host of new parts has a chance of making it to Miami this year is insane. That shouldn't discourage you from gambling on the Browns from week-to-week. This is a bonafide playoff team with an explosive offense featuring a confident quarterback and enough talent on defense to earn a spot among the league's best. I'm not saying bet the house on anything in Cleveland that doesn't feature LeBron or excessive drinking, just beware. The Dawg Pound is two years away from filling up your big screen on Super Bowl Sunday.
Offensive Players to Watch: David Njoku, Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Antonio Callaway
Defensive Players to Watch: Sheldon Richardson, Greedy Williams, Adarius Taylor
Fantasy Players to Watch: Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., David Njoku, Browns Defense.
Verdict: The team's going to be exciting as shit and is Must-see TV weekly. What other squad features a trash-talking quarterback, a receiver playing in a Richard Mille watch (price doesn't matter and mad athletes compete in it) and a fan base that's made more headlines for throwing beers on opponents than celebrating victories? I'm here for the Browns. 9-7.