Daily Dr. Roto – July 25, 2018
Cleveland Browns Team Preview
Outlook: The Browns are inching closer and closer to becoming a playoff team. They have a lot of young talent at the skill positions, but they might need another season or two to improve their defense in order to make a playoff run. Coach Hue Jackson could be in a bit of trouble if he can’t figure things out right away. There are lot of outstanding coaches who would take this job in a minute if Jackson wasn’t part of the organization.
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QB: The Browns do not want to rush rookie Baker Mayfield so there is little doubt that Tyrod Taylor will be the starting quarterback come Week one. Taylor is very smart with the football and extremely mobile in the pocket. That said, he is often afraid to take chances with the football and he is more of a game manager than a game winner. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him lose the job by Week 8. Many people were shocked that the Browns took Baker Mayfield number one overall in this year’s NFL draft, but I was not. Mayfield was a superior college player who had the respect of all his teammates and a cannon for an arm. Most importantly, he is a winner and that is something that cannot be taught. The sky is the limit with Mayfield, and I would be happy to roster him in all dynasty league formats.
RB: The Browns have a three-headed hydra at running back. Carlos Hyde was brought over from San Francisco to be their starting running back. Hyde is a very strong runner with an upright style and can hit the whole when it presents itself. He is from Ohio and wanted to play in Cleveland which should make him very popular with the fans. Despite signing Hyde, the Browns jumped on the chance to select Nick Chubb out of the University of Georgia in the second round of this year’s NFL draft. Chubb is a very talented runner who should make an immediate impact in the NFL. I expect that he will be in in both short yardage and goal line situations and is a good player in standard league formats. The Browns use Duke Johnson as their third down running back. Johnson is a terrific receiver out of the backfield and can be counted on for at least 50 to 60 receptions this season.
WR: As of today, it is expected that Josh Gordon will not report to training camp on time. He is still dealing with his demons and the many off the field issues that he has. This is a very stressful time of year for him and he claims that in the past he has turned to outside influences and to avoid that he wants to go to counseling. I think that we will see Gordon miss the first couple of weeks of training camp but then appear by Week 1 of the preseason. Gordon is an outstanding receiver with tremendous upside. I think he’s a perfect selection in the middle of round 4. Jarvis Landry comes to the Browns from the Miami Dolphins and is a perfect fit in this offense. Landry runs exceptional routes and always seems to be in the right place on the field. Both Taylor and Mayfield will love throwing to him. I expect big things from him this year (something like 80 receptions and 1000 yards). Corey Coleman is the third receiver, but I think there is a very good chance that he will be traded prior to the start of the season. Coleman possesses outstanding speed, but the organization is frustrated with his progress. Another reason the Browns can trade Coleman is that they drafted Antonio Callaway. Callaway is a receiver much in the mold of Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman in that he has outstanding speed and excellent size. He could really be a difference maker on offense if he can stop his knucklehead antics off the field.
TE: Most experts seem to think that David Njoku is primed for a big season. I would have to agree. Njoku is a freakish athlete with tremendous size and speed. I think that he might be a terrific option in the red zone because he is such a big target. There are many options on the Browns offense, so I wouldn’t expect Njokju to have more than about 40 to 45 receptions, but his star is on the rise.
K: Neither Zane Gonzalez nor Ross Martin are worth drafting in any format.
D: The Browns defense is much improved, but they still lack impact players outside of Myles Garrett at defensive end. They are not a team that I want to draft but I might consider them as a streaming option if they are in a good match up.
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