1. Defensive Line
3. Running Back
Myles Garrett finished with 16 sacks and the rest of the line combined for 10. To make matters worse, this defense was eighth worst in the league in yards per carry allowed and their two next best options behind Garrett are free agents.
Key FA: DE Jadeveon Clowney, RB Kareem Hunt, LB Anthony Walker
Check out our initial DL review here: https://youtu.be/o8f-iy1w6k0
Depth Chart Fantasy Impact
The big question looming over the Browns right now is whether QB Deshaun Watson will play any games for them in 2022. Cleveland sent 3 first-round picks, a third-rounder and 2 fourth-rounders to the Texans in March for the star QB – and then handed him a huge new contract.
Watson is sure to miss at least some time, and his fill-in will be Jacoby Brissett. The 29-year-old vet previously spent 2017 and 2019 filling in for Andrew Luck, first when the Colts QB sat out with a shoulder injury and then after his surprise retirement. Brissett most recently started 5 games for the 2021 Dolphins, as Tua Tagovailoa’s backup. Brissett sports just a 60.2% career completion rate and 3.0% passing-TD rate.
Browns QBs get Amari Cooper as the new lead WR, after Cleveland acquired him from Dallas in the spring. Through 7 years across 2 franchises, Cooper has never reached 22.5% target share in a season. He has averaged just 20.9% over that span (adjusted for games missed).
This year’s Browns, however, have shed 44.0% target share vs. last year with the departures of WR Jarvis Landry (to New Orleans), TE Austin Hooper (to Tennessee), WR Rashard Higgins (to Carolina) and WR Odell Beckham Jr. (to L.A. last year).
Besides Cooper, Cleveland added WR David Bell in Round 3 of the draft. The former Purdue wideout looks ready to compete for the slot role right away. The team also signed former Dolphin Jakeem Grant in free agency.
The Browns also applied the franchise tag to TE David Njoku and then agreed to a 4-year contract with the 26-year-old. HC Kevin Stefanski told reporters in June that Njoku has evolved into a “complete” TE and that he’ll be a “big part of what we plan to do.”
In the backfield, Cleveland returns Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (in the final year of his contract), but also kept D’Ernest Johnson around with a restricted free-agent tender. Johnson stepped in for an injured Hunt last season and more than doubled his career totals in carries and targets.
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