BELIEVELAND! It’s insane to think, but the NFL’s most historic losing franchise is taking the league by storm. Just two short years removed from finishing the season 0-16, the Browns look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders. General Manager John Dorsey deserves every bit of the credit, and very likely may be the best GM in all of football. The way he’s turned this franchise around in such a short time frame is remarkable. The Browns haven’t made the playoffs since 2002. They’ve finished last place in the AFC-North 13 times in the division’s 17-year existence. Last year in Dorsey’s first year as the GM of the team improved from a 1-31 record over a 2-year span to 7-8-1, and it’s a direct reflection to the culture change that Dorsey has created. His knack for finding talent in the draft is second to none. Many criticized his move to draft Baker Mayfield #1 overall, and then all Baker did was go out and set the rookie touchdown record for a quarterback and light opposing defenses up.
What Dorsey is doing is what all smart GM’s should do. He’s setting up his franchise player, Mayfield, up with weapons all over the field at his disposal. The acquisition of OBJ is just icing on the cake. I mean we’re talking about a receiver who is arguably the most talented receiver in the entire NFL. A guy who’s set every single record possible for a receiver before their 25th birthday. A guy who has the greatest catch in NFL history under his belt before he turned 23 years old. The Browns were already trending upwards after the conclusion of this past season. Baker looked like the next great NFL quarterback, Nick Chubb emerged as one of the best young running backs in the NFL, and Jarvis Landry (who’s only 26 years old) is an all-world possession receiver who can make all the tough catches and being any quarterbacks favorite security blanket. The combination of what those three could become had Browns fans everywhere ecstatic for the future. Then this offseason Dorsey finds a way to add Kareem Hunt (who’s just two years removed from leading the NFL in rushing as a rookie), and Odell Beckham Jr.!?!?! That’s just insane. On paper, the Browns immediately have the most explosive offense in football, and it’s not even up for debate. Not only is OBJ a threat to score every single time he touches the ball, but he makes everyone around him better. Defenses will have to shift towards his side of the field to provide over the top help, which means 1-on-1 coverage for everyone else. Do you plan to cover Jarvis Landry without help? GOOD LUCK! He will torch your favorite team’s second corner game in and game out.
WIDE RECEIVING CORPS
Name me a better 1-2 punch in the NFL than Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry; I’ll wait. Still waiting…..still waiting…. Yeah, you can’t. Numbers never lie. These two, statistically, are arguably the best wide receiver duo at 26 years old or younger in NFL history. In Landry’s first four years in the league, he caught over 400 receptions, which is an NFL record for the most catches ever in a players first four seasons. Lining up across the field will be Odell Beckham, oh you know, just the fastest receiver ever to eclipse 5,000 receiving yards in NFL history. Just so you haters can understand how good Beckham is at football let me give you a list of his records he’s already set at 26 years old.
-Fastest receiver in NFL history reach 100 receptions (just 14 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to reach 150 receptions (took just 21 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to reach 200 receptions (took only 30 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to eclipse 250 receptions (took just 38 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to eclipse 3,000 receiving yards (took only 30 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to reach 3,500 yards receiving (only took him 35 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to reach 4,000 yards receiving (took him just 42 games)
-Fastest receiver in NFL history to reach 5,000 yards receiving (took Odell 54 games, which was two shorter than the next fastest, Julio Jones)
-He has the most games with 125+ yards receiving of any player ever in their first three seasons with 13.
-Odell has the most receiving yards of anyone ever in their first two season with 2,744 (Don’t forget he missed the first four games of his rookie year due to injury or else this number would be even higher)
-He has the most consecutive games ever with 130+ yards receiving and a touchdown reception with four in a row.
-He holds the record for the most receiving yards averaged per game for any rookie ever with 108.8.
-Odell is the only player in the history of the league to record over 1,300 receiving yards while playing in only 12 games or fewer on the year.
So yeah, the dude is fucking special. Talk all you want about his off the field issues, or his sidelines antics. The dude shows up and performs on Sundays, and that’s all that matters. If the executives of the league thought he was an issue, then he wouldn’t be the highest paid receiver in the NFL by over 20 million dollars. With Beckham suiting up in the Brown and Orange, Landry can again thrive in his bread-and-butter role, which is underneath routes and over the middle, allowing him to use his after the catch skills to his advantage. Last year without Beckham, Landry was forced to run more deep routes than he ever had before in his career, and he was hardly effective hauling in just nine of his twenty-four targets that were over 20-yards down the field. Now OBJ and Callaway can play the deep route role and allow Landry to do what he does best. And if you think Beckham is just a deep threat and don’t prepare for his intermediate and short route game, then you’re going to get torched. OBJ is a jack-of-all-trades. He can run any route in the route tree and makes plays from the slot or on the outside. He has no weakness. And to top off the receiving core, don’t forget about rising young TE, David Njoku, who gave his own feedback to the OBJ deal by saying, “Defenses won’t know how to handle us.” True that!
Let’s not forget about the running back committee the Browns now have attained, which much like their receiving combination, is now the best in the NFL as well. From a talent standpoint that is. Nick Chubb is one of the best young running backs in the NFL. He’s a power back who has sneaky quickness and never goes down on the first attempt. The kid is as strong as an ox, just peep his viral video from this offseason of him cleaning 410-lbs with ease. Chubb averaged over 5 yards a carry and had an impressive ten touchdowns as a rookie. His stats are hindered as well because he wasn’t the team’s number one option until about halfway through the year when they traded then prior starting running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chubb is a star in the making. Then you toss in Duke Johnson who is an elite receiving threat from the running back position with game-breaking speed and also Kareem Hunt!? That’s an insanely dangerous backfield. We’ve all seen the viral video of Hunt kicking a woman, which led to his release from the Kansas City Chiefs and his current suspension from the league entirely. But, let’s not forget how good Hunt was before the incident happened. Two years ago as a rookie he led the NFL in rushing. Last season in his sophomore campaign he was a top-5 running back until he was dismissed from the team. The kid is a flat out star. Once he’s allowed to return to football, the combination of Chubb and Hunt will instantly be the most dynamic running back tandem in the NFL. Especially now with Ingram gone from the Saints; there’s not even another team that can pose a threat from a backfield talent standpoint.
So let’s get this straight because it needs to be spoken upon. Obviously, the talent on paper doesn’t always translate to wins on the field. The Browns are going to have to incorporate their new additions properly for it to all work out as the fans and media expect. But let’s make one thing clear. The Browns are for damn sure headed in the right direction as an organization. They have their star quarterback. They have the best receiving duo in the NFL. They have the best running back tandem in the NFL. They have the best young corner in the NFL (Denzel Ward – 2nd year out of OSU). They have the best young defensive end in football (Myles Garrett). They have the best general manager in the league (John Dorsey). They have everything you need to go out on Sunday’s and win football games, and I fully expect them to do so. Shoot, I’ll say it now, The Browns will win the AFC-North division THIS YEAR. They’ll make the playoffs THIS YEAR. And they’ll compete for a Super Bowl within the next five. I truly believe that. This team is must-see-tv, and we as a nation will see a ton of their games televised in primetime over the next years, which is a far cry from where the franchise has been for the last 15+ years. Even if this team Dorsey has assembled doesn’t bring home a super bowl trophy, he’s already won. The value of the franchise is exploding right before our eyes. The Browns have gone from an afterthought, a team that the media was challenging would lose to a collegiate program, to one of the most talked about teams in the NFL. And it’s all happened in a span of 3 months. That’s insane!