Cleveland Browns, Def, Browns
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2016 Outlook: Bye Week Fill-inLast updated on Aug-04-2016 by Shawn Childs
The Browns allowed the third-most rushing yards (2055) in 2015 with 11 rushing TDs. Ball carriers averaged 4.5 yards per rush with 28.6 rushing attempts per game (7.7 percent higher than the league average). They finished 22nd in passing yards allowed (4012) with 34 passing TDs allowed and only 11 Ints. They also ranked poorly in sacks (29).
CB Joe Haden struggled badly in 2015, and he gets the overrated tag for me. He battled a rib injury early in the season plus a broken finger. His season ended mid-season due to concussion issue. In the offseason, Haden had surgery on his left ankle, which may have been the reason for less value in pass coverage. His replacement CB K'Waun Williams had league average value in pass coverage. CB Tramon Williams wasn't much better with some risk in run support. This group of CBs will grade as below average unless Haden regains his previous form.
The two safety positions look to be an open battle between three players – Rahim Moore, Jordan Poyer, and Ibraheim Campbell. Each player has risk in some area. Campbell had minimal playing time last season while possibly offering the best overall skill set. Ibraheim is a physical player with value against the run. He tends to fail when spying on the QB, which leads to too many big plays. He has enough talent to cover second tier RB and TE in pass coverage.
Cleveland doesn't have one impact player at the linebacking positions with each option having a glaring weakness.
DT Desmond Bryant has risk against the run with minimal upside rushing the QB (six sacks). DT Danny Shelton failed to record a sack in his rookie season after being selected 12th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Shelton graded about league average against the run. He is extremely strong with slow feet, and his motor will get tested at the next level against tougher competition. DT John Hughes was a below league average player in all areas in 2015.
DE Paul Kruger saw his production fall by more than 50 percent in 2015. He had 11 sacks in 2014 and only 2.5 last season. Also, he made 26 fewer tackles. The Browns looks to be switching to a 3/4 defense leading to Kruger switching to an outside linebacking position.
This defense is full of risk with no real upside talent on defense on the roster. It's going to be a long season again for Cleveland fans.
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